Five Things to Tell You {September 10th, 2020}

Gen The Bookworm

{Fall Shifts & Our First Day of School, Soaking in the Daylight, Currently Reading & Listening, Kindle Book Deals & Pinterest Therapy} 

ONE: Fall Shifts…& Our First Day of School!

VermontWe have done a lot of swapping kids with our “quarantine crew” since the end of August which meant there was A LOT of boy energy around here…even the dogs were wild! Although the end of summer is bittersweet, everyone is definitely ready for a change of pace. 

Continue reading “Five Things to Tell You {September 10th, 2020}”

Life Lately…{September 1st, 2020}

Gen The Bookworm blogGood morning and a big shout out to all the parents who have made it to September! We may be smiling but are also crying on the inside, LOL.2020-09-01_0007We like to hide inside our L.L.Bean sweatshirts when we get nervous, which has been quite frequent lately. These striped sweatshirts were basically our quarantine uniforms March-June and these fall temps has us pulling them back out once again! While I have no affiliation with L.L.Bean, I would be happy to be their spokesperson if they are looking…

This summer has been a rollercoaster of emotions and while we have had many highs we also have had just as many lows. There have been plans that have had to be changed and many pivots in our daily family and work lives. We normally would have started school by now but this year we are starting after Labor Day which means we got a couple of extra weeks of summer. Continue reading “Life Lately…{September 1st, 2020}”

Life Lately…{Work Identity, Fitting in Reading, Audiobooks and Soaking in Summer}

Gen The Bookworm blogHello there! Yesterday I wrapped up one of my busiest weeks work-wise, and I have to say, it feels good to be back in the swing of things. There is so much unknown going into the winter months that Kristy and I are trying to get as much done as possible during the next few months. She has been juggling a lot and I love being able to support her behind the computer screen…It’s senior portrait season which is my favorite editing wise and I love seeing how much all the families she photographs each year have grown! work life{My mask pictured above is from this Etsy shop – no affiliation, I just love it!}

Continue reading “Life Lately…{Work Identity, Fitting in Reading, Audiobooks and Soaking in Summer}”

Life Lately…{Pandemic Fatigue, The COVID-19 Pool Club & True Crime Podcasts}

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Hello! I have been meaning to share a personal post for a while now, but it just hasn’t happened. I have had a hard time focusing on much of anything “extra” lately and I have noticed that things that used to feel easy feel very daunting now…maybe this is pandemic fatigue? I have found that when I do have a little downtime, I “waste it”, either mindlessly scrolling or cleaning and organizing a house that never stays that way for long because we are here pretty much 24/7 now…maybe because it gives me some sense of control?

Continue reading “Life Lately…{Pandemic Fatigue, The COVID-19 Pool Club & True Crime Podcasts}”

Coffee Talk | Currently…Mental Health, Homemade Face Masks, Outdoor Adventures & At Home Haircuts

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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.

Continue reading “Coffee Talk | Currently…Mental Health, Homemade Face Masks, Outdoor Adventures & At Home Haircuts”

Coffee Talk | Currently…Life During The COVID-19 Quarantine with Kids

Currently Loving

The days are really starting to run together but this is our fourth week of learning (and surviving) at home.

The Same But Different…

book blogMy 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

school 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.

Outdoor Time

spring in Vermont

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?)

Outside Adventures…

Vermont

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!learning at home

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:

2020-04-06_0013We 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!

kids reading

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.

FaceTime Buddies

facetime buddies

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…

dogs during quarentine 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

learning at home

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.

kids cooking

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!

It’s Both…

quarentine lifeWhile 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.

Helpful Articles…

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…

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{https://www.upworthy.com/coronavirus-productivity-motivation-myths-dangers}

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.

Currently Loving…

Alright, because I can’t do this post without doing a “currently loving section” I am doing an abbreviated format…

currently loving

Currently Watching:

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.

Currently Drinking:

SO much coffee…and water!

Currently Reading:

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.

Currently Embracing:

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.

Currently Loving:

Gramp Lyford’s Country Salve…Are your hands getting dry from all that hand washing too? I included in it my holiday bookworm gift guide back in November but it seems like the perfect time to share about it again. It’s the perfect amount of moisture without being greasy!

Currently Looking Forward To:

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!

Everything I Read in March 2020 {Book Recap & Ratings}

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Thinking back to the beginning of last month and knowing it was only a little over four weeks ago feels almost unbelievable. So much has changed and continues to change and it is a scary time for everyone. I have also felt a little vulnerable to share, even on this relatively small public platform because many of my feelings seem(are?) trivial in the larger scheme of things. 

How It’s Going…

global crisis{image via Liz & Mollie}

Continue reading “Everything I Read in March 2020 {Book Recap & Ratings}”

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Winter Blues, My First Podcast Interview, Cozy Must-Haves & Book Giveaway!

Currently Loving

Happy February & The Winter Blues…

Gen The Bookworm

I have been meaning to check in with a coffee talk blog post and now we are halfway through February! How is your month going?

It has been a more challenging winter for me personally. The weather has been particularly dark and gray and I know that adds to the overall feeling of sadness and increased anxiety for me personally (and also many other people…)

Continue reading “Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Winter Blues, My First Podcast Interview, Cozy Must-Haves & Book Giveaway!”

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer | Graydon House {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

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Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Book Summary:

From the bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say comes a poignant post-WWII novel that explores the expectations society places on women set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything once believed to be true.

With her father recently moved to a care facility, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.

As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker.

Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.

Publication Date:

April 14th, 2020

Genre:

Domestic Suspense/Mystery & Women’s Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

Kelly Rimmer

Truths I Never Told You (pre-order here using my Amazon affiliate link)

A New Author To Love

Last year I was introduced to author Kelly Rimmer by one of my book reviewing friends. I devoured The Things We Cannot Say and was blown away by Rimmer’ ability to share multi-faceted characters that felt so real and raw while also diving into a heartbreaking part of our not so distant history.

Kelly Rimmer new book

The Things We Cannot Say…

I loved the dual storylines and how they wove together and kept me guessing until the end. Rimmer captured the power of sharing our stories while also reminding us that many people have a history we might know nothing about. ⁣

Truths I Never Told You

When I saw that Rimmer was publishing a new book in 2020 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Truths I Never Told You captivated me from the very beginning. The topics in this book were something I could personally relate to. While this might not be the case for all readers, I think this is a powerful and important read either way. In the age of new parenthood being portrayed in such a polished (and often super unrelatable or not totally honest manner) on social media, this book was just so spot-on and important.

Timely & Important Issues

I was super impressed with Rimmer’s ability to write about the struggles of new motherhood when dealing with some of the mental health issues and general ambivalence that can arise and are often not talked about. This is something that is starting to be more common in nonfiction writing about motherhood but not in such a readable fiction format.

Truths I Never Told You alternates between Beth, a new mother in the mid-1990s and her mother Grace who was struggling immensely in the 1950s with raising her four young children. Just like in The Things We Cannot Say, there is a family mystery element that keeps us guessing until the very end. This part of the book is woven so beautifully between the layers of family dynamics and the important complexities of her carefully crafted and multifaceted characters.

Thought-Provoking & SO Readable

Kelly Rimmer

Rimmer is absolutely amazing at writing stories that are both compelling and nuanced. She doesn’t shy away from interweaving thought-provoking and sometimes very challenging topics while also being absolute page-turners.

I am struggling to write this review without giving away any of the important elements of this powerful story, but I will just say that is is a must-read and if you haven’t really any of Rimmer’s writing yet, you need to ASAP!

I can’t wait to share more about this book when it is published this spring and I already know it will be one of my top books of 2020.

Thank you to HarperCollins and Graydon House Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


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!