Just like with my reading tastes, what I am listening to has changed a bit over the last few weeks. I have found that my ability to focus has shifted with my podcasts and I am seeing that I either need some small helpful bits of information, relatable banter, some inspiring messages, or maybe a quick distraction.
Fitting in Podcast Listening…
Previously podcasts made up a good part of my workday whether it was when I was editing on the computer or during my commute. Photos above are back in the “good old days”.
Now that I don’t have either of those things, both my amount of time and attention to detail has changed. I am now listening while quickly getting ready for the day, while I am doing tasks around the house, on a walk to the mailbox…and sometimes when I just need to block out the decibel level from the kids.
Today marks the beginning of the seventh week of our COVID19 Quarantine. The longer this has gone on, the more we really have settled into a new routine. Some days it is hard to remember what it was like before all of this. Has this happened with any of you?
During the first few weeks, I had a lot of anxiety because there was just so much unknown in addition to the anticipation of what things would look like, both locally and globally.
While there is still a lot of things we don’t know, it feels easier in some sense that things have settled into a bit of predictability again, even if this all would have been almost unrecognizable a few months ago.
The days are really starting to run together but this is our fourth week of learning (and surviving) at home.
The Same But Different…
My last “currently loving” post was in mid-February which seems like it was years ago at this point. It does make me laugh how many things in it are applicable to “quarantine life” now…I talked about my favorite cozy must-haves, my love of athleisure wear and winter blues and anxiety. Some things never change!
Learning at Home
We are slowly getting into the swing of things but it’s been a bit tricky because every week things change. This is new and unknown for everyone so I am trying to be flexible and know that while it doesn’t feel like it right now, this really is temporary.
I also feel extra grateful that we live somewhere where we have access to the outdoors and that each day, the weather is getting nicer and nicer (let’s not talk bout the snow that is coming at the end of this week okay?)
One of the benefits of living in the “country” is that there is plenty of space to roam. We have been taking advantage of the quiet roads and have been exploring all around our “neighborhood”. We have been going for multiple walks and bike rides a day and it has saved us!
While we are heading into a month of being home together, we are definitely still working on finding the right balance during our weekdays. We have a 1st grader and a 4th grader at our house and while the kids are doing some school work, we have mostly been doing it to keep some sense of normalcy and routine.
A New Routine:
We are still in “maintenance mode” through this school week and then introducing new material will start next week.
I am trying to take things week by week and not get ahead of myself. I know that their teachers and administration are doing the very best they can to meet the needs of all families and that this is new for everyone.
They have been missing their friends and teachers SO much and while connecting over the computer isn’t quite the same, I am so happy they have the option!
Our first grader’s teacher recorded her reading the rest of the book they were reading together as a class at the beginning of March and he was just enthralled.
These kinds of things seem like such small things but it was such a huge source of connection and comfort amidst so much change.
I am thankful for it too. And I am happy that FaceTimeing has become popular once again. We loved it even before this whole “social distancing” became a thing…OG FaceTimers over here! 😉
Dogs During Quarantine…
We have been laughing about how much dogs just must love this whole quarantine situation. Buzz could not be more delighted with us being home every single day!
Home Ec 101
While I am not doing the most amazing job with the whole “school at home” thing, I am pleased with my instructional household house maintenance classes we have implemented, LOL.
We have even been cooking together. We tried out making homemade pasta which consisted of a lot of trial and error but it ended up being delicious! (we need to use even more flour next time during the rolls and cutting phase). We have also had many important discussions about rationing fresh produce and learning how to make your own (balanced) lunch…kids eat SO much food!
While I have lost my temper many times, we have also made some really special memories. This has not been easy and we also are so privileged to be able to stay safe at home.
I struggle a bit when I see comments like “embrace this time!!!” because some of it is just really hard, but there are parts of it that have been great… it’s both.
My friend Julia shared this article with me and while I am not involved in higher education, I found it relatable just on a personal level.
I also got SO much from this article where a trauma psychologist weighs in on the risks of ‘motivational’ pressure during quarantine. Maybe you have seen this floating around the internet…
A trauma psychologist from Beirut weighed in on this idea that we should be extra productive right now, and she didn’t mince words. Alaa Hijazi’s Facebook post has been shared 19,000 times, so people are clearly appreciating her wisdom. She wrote:
“I thought I was spared the horrid ‘motivational’ phrase going around now—’If you don’t come out of this with a new skill, you never lacked time, you lacked discipline’—until I saw it on my local yoga studio page.
As a trauma psychologist, I am utterly utterly horrified, enraged, and bewildered about how people can believe and spread this phrase in good conscience.
We are going through a collective trauma, that is bringing up profound grief, loss, panic over livelihoods, panic over loss of lives of loved ones. People’s nervous systems are barely coping with the sense of threat and vigilance for safety, or alternating with feeling numb and frozen and shutting down in response to it all.
People are trying to survive poverty, fear, retriggering of trauma, retriggering of other mental health difficulties. Yet, someone has the nerve to accuse someone of lack of discipline for not learning a new skill, and by a yoga teacher!
This cultural obsession with [capitalistic] ‘productivity’ and always spending time in a ‘productive,’ ‘fruitful’ way is absolutely maddening.
What we need is more self-compassion, more gentle acceptance of all the difficult emotions coming up for us now, more focus on gentle ways to soothe ourselves and our pain and the pain of loved ones around us, not a whipping by some random fucker making us feel worse about ourselves in the name of ‘motivation.'”
It is okay to worry, it is okay if you are just doing the very minimum to get through your day, it is okay to wish we had more answers and it is okay to grieve what we have lost, even if we are grateful for what we have.
Alright, because I can’t do this post without doing a “currently loving section” I am doing an abbreviated format…
I finally gave in and watched Tiger King. I was told I would be missing out on important Corona19 Pop Culture if I didn’t. I am glad I did! It was quite the wild ride but it was definitely entertaining…and the perfect distraction from our current events.
Currently Participating In:
I have been trying to be consistent with my Pure Barre classes even though we can’t go to classes in the studio anymore. I am a social exerciser so this has been more challenging than I expected. I haven’t been able to attend the live ones very easily because of being home alone with the kids during those times so I have been doing Pure Barre On Demand.
I have access as a member at our local studio but you can also subscribe just online, they have a free trial right now to try it out. (I am not affiliated with this, just wanted to share!) I have been alternating these classes with long walks and it has been a good balance so far.
Currently Spending My Time:
When a lot of things feel out of control, I like to clean. I remember as a little kid I would rearrange my room when I felt anxious and I always found it very soothing! So I have been vacuuming and mopping and I am just loving my spin mop! There is something so satisfying about these kinds of chores and they are perfect for getting some audiobook listening in.
SO much coffee…and water!
I am working my way through a few titles on my Kindle..last weekend I started Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld which is one of my most anticipated 2020 reads! After loving American Wife SO much I have HIGH hopes for this one and so far I am really enjoying it.
All my clothes are basically quarantine clothes anyway, but I have been embracing air drying my hair! I have wavy hair that can either look quite curly or a frizzy mess. I tend to blow dry it so I don’t have head out into my workday with dripping wet hair, but currently, that is a non-issue! It has been nice to skip the blow dryer and embrace the natural look.
Our Better Together Book Club is going virtual tonight! Like many book groups, this will be our first time having our book club over Zoom. I am excited to see some friendly faces and see how everyone is doing. We decided to skip the book chat and do a “how are you managing and coping” check-in tonight. I am so looking forward to it!
I hope you are all staying safe and healthy and I will be back soon with some more book and reading updates. <3
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!
It’s been a WHILE since I have shared a Currently Loving post. December always feels like a blur and then January is a transition into a new year and into all our regular routines again. This last week was the boy’s first full week back at school which meant it was my first full week back at work.
Your Life Your Camera Photography Workshop
This past weekend Kristy and I taught our first 2020 workshop of the year, our Your Life Your Camera Intermediate photography class.
We loved being reunited with participants from our past beginner workshops and it is amazing to see how much they have grown!
This week we are teaching Your Life Your Memories, our photo organization class and next week we are welcoming a whole new group of photographers into our Your Life Your CameraBeginner workshop!
I recapped what our workshops looked like in this blog post HERE and how we make a more seasonal job like portrait photography in Vermont work for us!
Learn With Kristy Dooley Photography!
Speaking of learning, we have also been busy working on something NEW! Kristy and I taught our very first photography workshops in 2014 and we have loved not only growing the workshops we offer but also being a part of building a local photography community.
Recently we have felt a pull toward wanting to reach a wider audience and while we have had people travel to our classes, (hello our favorite New Hampshire ladies!) we would love to also offer a way to learn from the time and place that works best for YOU!
Online Photography Workshops
We are working away on a new series of online workshops and we can’t wait to share more about them soon! We have put ourselves on a tight deadline for the first class (which has called for a lot of learning on our side as we make our way through templates, Keynote and Powerpoint, hence the Williston Coffee Shop chocolate chip cookies…) and we will be announcing the release in just a few weeks. Stay tuned!
All Things Holiday Break
While we are definitely getting back in the swing of things, I thought it would be fun to recap a little bit of what we were up to our holiday break. Over the holiday break, there were many moments of frustration and together time AND a lot of fun were mixed in too.
Parenting is a rollercoaster of emotions and just when you think you have it figured out, it changes! Our boys are at a great age for doing so many things and they are also in a stage of a lot of sibling rivalry. I know this is a totally normal thing kids go through and it is definitely keeping Lucas and me on our toes.
We have found that doing things OUTSIDE of our house helps a lot with this so we like to be out and about as much as we can. Whether it is doing errands together, playing outside or going the movies, keeping busy is key.
It also helps getting out of the house with your friend and our holiday book club was amazing! We exchanged some bookish gifts, caught up and recapped our reading highs and lows of 2019! And how amazing are these socks?! My friend Emily found them on Etsy HERE (*I am not affiliated with this shop, I just love them!)
Hoverboards, Playdates & Setting Up Mousetrap
Thank goodness for our friends who helped make the holiday break feel a little less long. My friend Kari and I did a bit of switching kids on and off so we could get some work things done or just breathe for a second.
She also is the master of setting up anything tricky or icing your child’s birthday cake…ha! I had the game Mousetrap as a kid but I don’t think I ever actually played it because setting it up was the true challenge.
And what’s better than a playdate for your kids? Catching up with your parent friends over coffee. I am doing a no coffee after breakfast challenge for the month of January (tea only after my morning coffee allotment from home!) but back in December, it was anything goes!
While we didn’t have a white Christmas as we had hoped for, we did have weather that allowed us to get outside quite a bit. Two years ago our holiday break was filled with record-setting low temperatures which made for a busy couple of weeks for Lucas at work and a lot of cabin fever setting in for the rest of us!
We did finally get some snow before the New Year and we were excited to break out the new sleds that Santa brought at Christmas and also get out for some backyard skiing. While this looks picturesque, let me tell you, it was anything but peaceful!
Parker has been skiing for a few years now but I have been trying to teach Flynn and as someone who isn’t’ very good at it herself, I am probably not the best teacher! I am going to bring the boys to a local x-country skiing place soon and I am thinking this will probably be better for everyone! 😉
Bowling & Arcade Games
Towards the end of the break, we were ready to mix it up so we were thrilled to join some friends for a couple of games of bowling. Of course, that means we also had to visit the arcade game room which is one of my least favorite parts of parenting for sure. Olivia was a much better sport about it than me!
If I could summarize our parenting life right now, I would say there’s a big emphasis on getting together with friends, sports (both participating and watching), playing ALL the games, still lots of LEGOs, bickering with each other and Buzz is the happiest to be photographed now…hence all the dog photos! We will have a middle schooler next year which is kind of hard to believe!
Evenings at Home & Kindle Pillow Stand
I am a homebody for sure and while it isn’t always calm and peaceful here these days, sometimes the stars align and our evenings are filled with reading in our lounge clothes. We tend to head upstairs about an hour before the kid’s bedtime (also ours, ha) and everyone is supposed to do more quiet(ish) activities.
This doesn’t always happen but we are working on it! It has been great for us being able to have some downtime now that they stay up almost as late as we do and it is has been great for encouraging independent reading time for the boys.
Buzz is a big cuddler and he is the best reading buddy. A lot of you asked me what I thought of my Kindle pillow stand (pictured above) when I shared about it on my Bookworm Favorite Things blog post. I use it every night and it makes it so you can read pretty much hands-free (just turning the pages…) It feels kind of like a big bean bag so you can prop up your kindle all different ways and It is also a multipurpose pillow so you can use pretty much any tablet-sized item on it.
Currently Loving Winter Accessories & Mabels Labels
Winter is hard in Vermont because it is long and you want(and really need) cold-weather accessories that are durable (which often means they are a bit pricier), but that also means it is extra scary to send them off to school because things get misplaced all the time. I don’t think I have ever walked by the school’s lost and found table without seeing at least three things from our family on it.
We do our best to label EVERYTHING because of this and I was super excited when I saw that their loves from Burton have a super-easy way to personalize them! We have had the best luck with gloves from Burton and Head (the ones they sell in the fall at Costco!) and the worst luck with LlBean gloves(I love everything from LLbean but the gloves fall apart so quickly).
We have been using Mabel’s Labels (*not affiliated just love them) since our older son started preschool way back in 2012. I have tried a few other brands over the years but have always gone right back to these because they are the best!
Using Your Last Name…
Also, if you have a less common last name, try simplifying and instead of getting a bunch of individual stickers for all your family members and just one with the last name that you can use for everyone.
First Better Together Book Club of 2020!
Last week we had our first Better Together book club of 2020 and we discussed The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. Not only did we have an animated discussion but author Jessica Lahey joined us! It was amazing to hear the backyard of her own work and also how her book came to be. If you haven’t read The Gift of Failureyet, it is a must! Whether you are a parent yourself or work with kids, you will get so much out of it.
Coming Up on Gen The Bookworm
I have a lot of fun things in store for Gen The Bookworm in 2020. I am especially excited about welcoming some new guest posters who will be sharing on topics related to reading.
In a couple of weeks, my friend Kelly who is a reading specialist will be sharing about How to Raise A Lifelong Reader. My reading friend Michelle will be sharing the first What’s On Your Nightstand post of 2020 this week and I have own Reading Highs & Lows of 2019 recap coming along with the 2020 books I am most excited about!
Thank you for stopping by being a part of this reading community, I appreciate each and everyone one of you! <3
Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!
Good morning!! I am trying to become more efficient (and not overthink these posts) because you guys were so great when I asked for more feedback over on Instagram. I too love reading random daily life updates and so I am going to try and commit to sharing these once a week! I am very externally motivated so when I know someone is expecting something of me I am all in, ha.
The last couple of weeks have had some ups and downs. My life has so many wonderful things, and it also has some painful and sad parts. I do try to be real on here, but also keeping in mind that this is a very public space. I love the image above so much because it is so very true and it is something that I try very hard to keep in mind when interacting with the world around me.
I am a glass half full person. I think because I have such great supports and self-care practices in place, it helps me focus on the good parts BECAUSE I am able to process the tougher stuff when it comes up. This is a work in progress of course, but I think it is important to mention as these posts are definitely more of the “highlight reel” kind of recaps. Okay, moving on!
I am a little off schedule today because Lucas was away for the night at his family’s deer camp. He isn’t a hunter but going to camp is one of his very favorite things to do this time of year. He ends up bringing the kids with him a lot because we try and coordinate it with when Kristy and I are teaching on the weekends so this was a nice adult only visit for him!
Normally Sunday mornings are my barre and grocery shopping time, sometimes mixed in with a visit to Target to peruse the bookshelves. Last weekend I got together with one of my reading buddies and we had a great Pure Empower workout with Lauren and then walked around Target and caught up. My friendships are so very important to me, and there are certain times when you just need them a lot more and this is definitely one of those times.
By mid-month, the boys already had TWO snow days. I think they are much easier to take this time of year than in say, late March but I was still a bit surprised. The boys were super excited of course and it was a reminder for us that it was time to pull out (and FIND) all the winter gear.
Currently Wearing…ALL the Winter Gear
We have built up quite the collection of Skida accessories over the year and especially love hitting up their Summer Sidewalk Sale in August to replenish anything that gets lost at school.
It doesn’t matter how much you label the crap out of your kid’s stuff, some of it WILL go missing and it hurts a bit less when at least you know you got a good deal on them! We have also had great luck with LL Bean gloves for the kids!
We are big Bogs fans around here. Bogs Boots are our go-to footwear for our whole family from late October until the end of April. I updated mine this year after having my pair for 5+ years and I went with the Women’s Whiteout Bogs that are super easy to slip on and off (A MUST for me with winter boots) are so warm and cozy and waterproof. I loved my Plimsoll Bogs but these have even better traction for better grip on ice and snow. I am ladies size 8.5 in most shoes and I size up to a 9 in Bogs. I find that having a bit of extra room is super helpful, especially when wearing heavier socks this time of year.
While I could never be a fashion blogger (LOL) I can talk for days about winter outwear and basically anything from LL Bean or Talbotts…
You can find the Kids Rain and Winter Boot Bogs HERE.
When you have the right winter clothing, getting outside this time of year is the best! One of my favorite ways to get together with friends is to go for a walk. Kristy and do this on our lunch break at work because she has some great trails right behind her house.
I have been trying to prioritize this lately as I have a bit more flexibility during the work week now that photography season is slowing down a bit and it is so good for our mental health…there really is nothing like some fresh air and sunshine.
This week Buzz and I met my friend Elisa for a walk at Shelburne Bay and went on a lunch hour walk with Kari up Mt. Philo. All of these walks take less than from start to finish so they are perfect to add in during our day when we don’t have a long block of time available.
Currently Embracing…Weekend Walks
We are also embracing the slower-paced time of this year on the weekends. Being cooped up with kids is not for the faint of heart so getting everyone outside at least once a day is necessary no matter what the weather conditions are. While we love to walk in the woods around our house, it is hunting season now so we stick to parks and places that off-limits for that until it is over in December.
A Night Out With Friends
It is rare that I do something at night (besides our Better Together Book Club!) because I am not a night owl, and especially this time of year when it gets dark out at 4pm. But when Sonja at Owl Feet Studio announced she was having her first Ladie’s Night Out, I was going to be there!
When I told Lucas I was going to attend a Shibori night, he definitely chuckled. Shibori is a cloth dyeing method originating in Japan in the 18th century and utilizes the incredible properties of the indigo plant (This is Sonja’s great description, not mine!) It is a similar process to tie-dying but because you use indigo, it results in beautiful shades of deep blue.
As a photographer, I am definitely a creative person, but I also like things just so(hence why I spend my work life in Lightroom and Photoshop, ha)
So going with the flow isn’t the most comfortable thing for me. I like having a concrete plan and detailed instructions! It ended up being such a fun night and it was also great to get a little out of my comfort zone. I can’t wait for her next Art Night Out!
Currently Loving…Barre Book Club!
I know I talk about barre all the time, but it is just such a positive part of my life (and one of my biggest forms of regular self-care). The Pure Barre community is definitely the number one reason why. I am a group exerciser for many reasons (motivation because of signing up ahead of time is one of them) but I also love how it brings me together regularly with such a wonderful group of (mostly) women.
I love arriving a bit early to have time to catch up and love that we now have an (unofficial) Barre Book Club! In addition to chatting about all sorts of random things, our local studio has become an awesome place to share recommendations and also to exchange books!
And whenever I post a photo with my barre socks, I get asked what kind they are! A barre studio opened near my friend Sarah’s house recently and she asked me if I had recommendations for my favorite sticky socks and these are it! If you haven’t been to a barre class before, most barre studios have you wear socks (no shoe) that help you grip the floor, which especially comes in handy during planks and pushups.
The Tavi Noir Chloe ones are my current favorite. We started having them in our studio last spring and the pair I bought them have held us amazingly well and are still super sticky and grippy! They are super comfortable and the criss-cross straps stay put and don’t dig in at all like I worried about when I first saw them.
An Amazing Homegoods Find
The other weekend, Flynn and I hit up Homegoods to browse the aisles, and we walked away with this Quilted Eddie Bauer Dog Pullover for Buzz! Pullovers are necessary when you have winter weather for 6 months of the year (they are pretty much all I wear…) and I couldn’t resist this one for him when it was under $15…and now we can match!!
I mean, is there anything better than twinning with your dog? I don’t think so!
Currently Becoming…A Harry Potter Fan
I have to admit, I have never read the Harry Potter series…and I don’t know that I really want to…
He is loving this version so much that has taken to reading right after school which isn’t the norm around, that’s for sure. Both of our boys have really grown to love reading but it is normally something they do in the evening before bed.
After much apprehension, I started The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes this week! I often get a little wary of books that are SUPER HYPED UP but this one really is amazing. I have been alternating listening to it on Audible and reading Kristy’s hard copy Book of the Month copy and am just loving it.
Fireside Reading (and Napping!)
While this time of the year can be tough with the lack of daylight, it is also such a wonderfully cozy time of year. There is nothing like cuddling up next to the fire and reading an engrossing novel or taking a nap on the couch. After Thanksgiving next week the full rush of the holiday season will be upon on us so I am trying to soak in the quiet moments like this.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend! I have some great book reviews in the blog line up and another What’s On Your Nightstand? post coming your way soon!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!
Good morning and happy Tuesday! I am working from home today so I thought I would prioritize checking in here. September has been jam-packed and it has taken a bit to get back into a routine. The boys are happy at school and Kristy and I are adjusting to our regular work hours again which has been nice!
Fall Photographer Life…
This time of year, work is filled with editing lots of school photos, high school senior portraits and lots and lots of family sessions! It feels nice to have our longer workdays back again as this is definitely our most hectic work season. Our family has also made a big transition that has added 30 minutes to my own workday…the boys are now taking the bus home from school!
Our kids started at a new school last year so it was a lot of new things all at once so we took our time making all of the changes at once. This year they were ready and it has been wonderful and also a time saver.
Buzz and our neighbor dog Mason love meeting them at the end of the driveway. I am trying to prioritize walking to the bus stop instead of just grabbing them in my car on the way home if I have the extra time. It is nice to have that quiet transition period between my workday and full-on family mode again and the weather has just been amazing. I even grabbed an iced latte one day for my walk and it was pretty much perfection.
Currently Enjoying…Fall in Vermont
We have had an amazing month of weather and I am hoping fall hangs on a little longer than last year! Fall in Vermont is amazing when the stars align, but often it ends up being super warm or freezing! We have had that perfect September sweatshirt weather for the most part which is my very favorite.
Sweatshirt & Highschool Shopping Memories
I grabbed this fleece pullover from Abercrombie the other week for $25 (I used the Honey plugin and the sale codes stacked!) and it is so cozy! It also makes me giggle to think about shopping there because I remember when we got an Abercrombie store when I was in high school and I haven’t shopped there since. We don’t have one of these stores anymore but I will never forget how you could smell it from a mile away…yikes!
While I don’t plan on doing my regular clothing shopping there (don’t worry Talbots, I still love you the most!) this fleece pullover is awesome! I ordered a size large and it is a roomy and comfortable fit.
Peaches & Beeswax Wraps
A couple of weeks ago we went peach picking. It was fun and we just picked enough to eat. We didn’t make anything creative with them but they were amazing sliced and also on top of overnight oats. I have been trying to be better about having a filling breakfast and these are great. I soak the oats with some milk and chia seeds overnight in our fridge and I have been using these reusable beeswax food storage wrapsto cover the bowl instead of saran wrap. I thought this 6 pack was a great deal and we use them for covering everything!
So we didn’t bake anything with our peaches but we did have great luck with this Carrot Apple Bread! Me actually baking is a lot like capturing a butterfly with your iPhone, it doesn’t happen a lot! I find it incredibly frustrating because you have to measure everything so accurately and I always make the biggest mess. But after some inspiration from The Kitchen Table restaurant, I knew I needed to try and recreate their dessert bread from their Fall Harvest Dinner. This was a great duplicate and was super moist and include the perfect flavors of fall.
Currently Loving…Ursa Major!
Speaking of more eco-friendly options, I was so excited to see that they having Ursa Major products at The Lodge at Spruce Peak. I loved that they have reusable containers and are featuring a great Vermont product!
I normally use my own shampoo and conditioner when we travel because I am picky, but I couldn’t wait to use this! The Daily Shampoo & Conditioner are amazing. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Body Wash but the body lotion was awesome! It makes me happy that so many hotels are continuing to get rid of single-use containers too!
Currently Loving All Things Stripes…
Speaking of favorites…I will never stop loving anything with stripes. The other week I shared about my love for the Striped Funnelneck Pullover from LLBean on IG stories because it was on sale. So many people DMed me back and said they loved it so much too! Then a few days later I ran into my buddy Katherine who was wearing it at the grocery store! It’s the best, seriously.
Currently Loving…Beyond Booked Book Sleeves!
I love being able to support my friend’s small businesses when I can and my Bookstagram friend Tancy recently opened a book sleeve shop on Etsy! It has been a great way to safely transport both my paperback and hardcopy books around and I especially love the Rifle Paper Co. fabric choices!
Pure Barre in the Wild…
I love bringing my books just about everywhere and a few weeks ago they visited the Pure Barre Pop Up class at Perkins Pier. I have never taken an exercise class outside before and it was the perfect cooler weather and cloud coverage for doing Pure Barre in the wild.
Currently Loving…Fall Soccer!
Fall soccer is in full swing and our younger son still isn’t sure about actually playing soccer but he loves running around with his buddies…If you have ever seen a 1st-grade soccer game, it is something else!
I am not super competitive and I wasn’t ever great at sports myself, but I always loved being part of the team and community of the sports teams I was a part of. It makes me happy they love this part of it too.
Pure Barre Socks & Milestones
Speaking of communities, a few weeks ago I celebrated 750 Pure Barre classes since I joined the Pure Barre community in August of 2015. While I love the workouts, I love my friends there even more. It has been such an incredible source of support and a great way to make adult friends.
I still find the classes incredibly difficult but I love seeing how much progress I have made, personally. When I first began my core strength was zilch and now I can (usually) do a plank for 90 seconds, which is huge for me. Like many people, I have certainly had body image and eating issues in my life and I love that there is a wonderful focus there about being your best self and working out to be healthy and strong.
I also have found my new FAVORITE barre socks. They just started having them in our local studio as well but I found one of my pairs on Amazon HERE. I wasn’t sure if I would like the criss-cross straps but they are super comfortable and they stay sticky month after month! I am size 8.5 in women’s shoes and I have the size small socks.
Last week I finished The Dearly Beloved on Audible and I highly recommend it!! I am little behind on my book reviews on here but if you are looking for an audiobook suggestion, this one was fabulous! And hopefully, my full review will be up soon.
On my Kindle, I have been catching up with some of my NetGalley & Edelweiss advanced reader books because there are so many books that will be published in October!
Alright, I think I have chatted on long enough here but I hope you enjoyed this random assortment of things I am currently loving!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small percentage that helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.
Oh hello! It’s been a little quiet around here with my more personal posts. It is fairly easy to share book reviews a few times a week because I have already written most of them for partnering publishers, but these take a while because I always have way too much to share! I like having a mix of book chatter and also some daily life so these posts are important to me but they just haven’t been able to be as much of a priority during this busier season of work.
The Dream Daughter Kindle Deal!
Before I share anything, I have to post that The Dream Daughter is a Kindle Deal today!! If you haven’t grabbed this yet, you need to! It is my favorite Diane Chamberlain book ever.
During the last couple of weeks, we started finding our regular rhythm again with the start of school for the boys. I am a creature of habit so while I am sad to lose the long days of summer I very much embrace this time of the year.
The pictures above are the perfect example of why parents have a harder time during summer…you are never alone! I was impressed with how much self-care I was able to fit in while doing the weekly grocery shopping and my BIL and SIL(whom I randomly ran into at the store) were just delighted to take this photo for me, ha!
Yup, I totally wore my noise-canceling headphones to the grocery store to listen to my audiobook while I shopped, and lots of people looked at me like I had 3 heads. You have to find space when you can and I have no shame. 😉
End of Summer
On our last weekend of summer vacation, we had a campfire in the yard and make S’mores. I am also very excited about my new Ogunquit sticker from our family vacation and I had many water bottles in my cupboard to choose from for where I would display it. We try to not get a bunch of junk as souvenirs(we already have enough!) so stickers have been a fun thing to get when we travel. Buzz was just happy we were all reunited! Speaking of Maine, I am planning on sharing my post on our trip this weekend, so stay tuned.
Back to School
The boys headed back to school and everyone was excited except Buzz! They are now in 1st and 4th grade and it has been a fairly smooth transition. The hardest part has been getting everyone back on an earlier bedtime and I don’t see this struggle going away anytime soon.
The boys were excited to take my back to school photo and I was more than happy to oblige!
Kari and I celebrated quickly at Philo Ridge before headed off to our first days of work, ALONE!
Kristy and I were excited for our first day together without kids(our kids had opposite childcare schedules which worked great for work coverage but not so much for being able to work together) since June. We got a lot of work done and also got to catch up! I was able to finalize my post about The Better Together Book Club and Buzz was ecstatic to pick the kids up at school at the end of the day. He picked his newest bandana up at the Skida sidewalk sale.
It is absolutely my favorite time of year and I wish it was sweatshirt and jeans weather all year long. We have lucked out with a gorgeous September so far. It has been the perfect temperature and I am hoping it stays that way. I am done with the heat!
Back to the Barre
I am back in my regular barre before work routine and also to bringing 10 bags of random stuff to work. Kristy is clearly very accommodating. I like to take a lot of my book photos at her house, mostly because it is way cleaner than mine. She is the queen of no clutter which is my ultimate goal in life but it probably will never happen.
Speaking of photos, one of my friends asked me the other day if I post my Instagram posts in “real-time” and I thought it was a great question. I tend to take 3-4 different photos at one time for posts I want to do that week. I post the actual text in real-time but many of my photos I have previously taken if that makes sense. I tend to post in the early morning and that is not a great time to take photos because it is pitch black outside!
Mom’s Night Out
In celebration of back to school, my friend Elisa and I went out the other evening. We had a drink at Shelburne Farms and then made our way to Peg & Ters for dinner. We ended up running into a bunch of other school moms so I think everyone was feeling festive this past week…and we were home by 8pm!
While a drink by the lake is lovely, regular life looks a lot more like this. The kids are excited about book orders and the newest Dog Man bookand we have been trying to teach both kids how to put away their own laundry, which is a work in progress…I did teach Parker about the gift of listening to a podcast while you do it, and he is a fan!
And Buzz…he loves life on a farm but boy does he get dirty! We have to spray him off with the hose and then give him a full bath more than we would like to admit, ugh!
Speaking of podcasts…
These are some series/episodes I have been loving…
*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. 🙂
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:
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.
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
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!
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. 🙂
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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