Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Audiobooks at Work, Wireless Headphones, Barre Necessity & Fun at the Fair!

currently loving...

Checking-in:

Hello! How is your weekend going? I am sitting down with a big mug of coffee to write this and then I need to finish editing a wedding because we are leaving for MAINE tomorrow!!

Currently Loving…Audiobooks at Work!

During my heavy editing season audiobooks get me through the long hours of sitting at the computer. My work is heavily creative so I am able to listen while I work which is amazing! Speaking of audiobooks, I finished The Most Fun We Ever Had this past week which I alternated reading and listening too. I shared more over on Instagram but I think it might be my favorite book ever!

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I also decided to go the Audible route to help finish Red, White & Royal Blue and it is amazing on audio. I am hoping to finish it today. Have you read this yet? It has had some raving reviews and I can see why.

Wireless Headphones for the Win!

I had a lot of DMs about which headphones I have after I posted about them HERE.

I have the Tao Tronic wireless headphones. I got them last year after reading a lot of reviews and not being sure if I wanted to make a huge financial commitment. These are currently on sale for $39 and are awesome! I strongly dislike earbuds(and I can’t get them to stay in my ears) and I don’t care about whether I look cool or not, so they are great!

They have many uses which include listening to audiobooks and tuning out your noisy family. I also wear them at work when I am listening to a true-crime podcast because Kristy is afraid of them, ha! I also love wearing them around the house when I am vacuuming or putting away laundry…it makes the time fly by! I also love that I can listen to something without having my phone right next to me because I get less distracted by it that way.

Busy Season:

This last week has been a lot of tying up loose ends and finished all our work projects before we took a few days off. Summer in Vermont is short but intense and that means photography work here is similar. During the summer we are in a constant cycle of editing, lots of backend communication and sending out galleries and prints, etc. This does not even include all the work Kristy does to take the photos!

I am lucky to work with someone who is so organized because it is a lot to manage. Kristy recently set up whiteboards that look similar to the patient boards they have at hospital nursing stations, and it is fabulous!

Childcare in August…

The last couple of weeks before school usually mean that summer activities have ended and beloved babysitters have headed back to college! This means we did a lot of working with kids this week which is always a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

They were at home with me, at work with Lucas, spent some time with grandparents and also came to work with us at Kristy’s. Flynn’s mismatched shoes are a good representation of this past week inside my head, ha!

Summertime Self-care:

While I haven’t been going as regularly, barre is essential to my mental well being so I have been prioritizing that as much as possible. During the school year I go on my way to work but these days I go whenever I can get there, early morning, midday or afternoon classes.

This is probably good for me as I am a very routined person and it has pushed me out of my comfort zone a bit. I have met some new barre buddies which is always the best! I still freak out if I can’t go in my specific spot in the room though…baby steps!

Fitting in Reading:

I bring my kindle along with me during the day and read when I can but most of my reading during the summer happens in the evening. During the school year, I have a lot more chunks of alone time in between meetings, appointments and dropping off and picking up the kids. This time of the year, I AM NEVER ALONE, ha.

Kids Books We Love…

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Julia Rothman Collection

Speaking of kids and reading, I get a lot of questions about how we get our kids to love reading. I am not an expert by any means but my love of reading came from being read to as a child and always having access to books.

I vividly remember riding my bike to the library and picking out whatever books I wanted to read…and then trying to figure out how to ride home while carrying them out without the foresight to bring a bag, ha!

(Ninjago | Dog Man | Pokemon Essential Guidebook | Frog & Toad Storybook Favorites | The Julia Rothman Collection )

So we have always read with our kids and had a lot of books around. We also try to be open-minded about what they want to read, even when the are into super annoying books like Pokemon, Lego and graphic novels like Dog Man and Hi-Lo. I know people have strong feelings about this but I a big believer in the idea that reading is reading even if some of it might not be “ideal”.

We try to enforce at least 20 minutes of reading time a day whether it is on their own or with us.  This has been a bit lax during the last couple of months but during the school year, it is a before bedtime requirement.

I had big plans to do a whole post about book suggestions that our kids love last spring and I never got around to it. I have big plans for September and I plan on sharing a more detailed post then!

Vermont Summer Living…

We have been embracing all the wonderful parts of this time of year while also looking forward to school starting again so we can get some of our regular structure back. Summer is great and school is too!

Addison County Fair & Field Days!

Speaking of embracing the wonderful parts of this year, I never posted about our trip to the fair! We visited the Addison County Fair last week which has been one of my summer traditions since I was a toddler myself. I love reminiscing about all my memories there while also seeing how much our kids love it. Lucas grew up in the big city of Burlington so he is still unsure about it all but I think it is growing on him. 😉

We planned accordingly so we could attend the Demotion Derby. We also had lots of fair food including fried Oreos. It was a pretty rainy week but this night ended up being just beautiful.

End of Summer Reading:

We have been soaking in all in and I have big reading planning to finish off our summer vacation. I am a last-minute packer but I have been thinking about what books I want to bring to Maine for weeks!! I think I have narrowed it down and I will keep you updated over at @genthebookworm.


I hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend! <3

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…August Transitions, Being a Tourist in Your Own Town & Summer Nights

currently loving...

Checking-in:

Hi everyone and happy Friday night. While I may not be drinking coffee right now, I did just have some espresso gelato, so that counts right?

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After a fun week of camp for the kids and work for us, it feels great to have no plans tonight. We may live in a small town but we live close to a lot of amazing food options and tonight we visited Pizza On Earth for some to-go pizza. We picked up two pies and also each had a little cup of gelato, before dinner! I know, just living on the edge over here….It was delicious and was such a good reminder of the ease of summer nights.

August Transitions:

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(image from Positively Present)

August is a big time of reflection for me on what has worked so far this past year and what might need some adjusting. Now that both our kid’s schedules really follow the school calendar it really does feel like the end one of one year and the start of a new one in so many ways.

This past week the kids were in a day camp which allowed me to have a lot more work hour available since school ended back in mid-June. This time was also a great indicator of how I can work smarter once we are back to this “regular” schedule in a few weeks.

While I got a lot done, it was also a reminder of how much I have to catch up on and the “pile” seems so high right now it feels a bit overwhelming. I talked about this on Instagram the other day but I have felt like I am just treading water over here during the last couple of months.

I have a supportive partner and many helpful resources that I don’t ever want to take for granted but it still often feels like I am just trying to stay afloat instead of making progress forward. I love to share my highlights on here but there is also the reality of life with two working parents and the endless cycle of family life at this stage and it is just something in the background that we are constantly navigating.

Academic Calendar Planner:

paper planner

So with that in mind, I always follow the academic school year with my planners and it feels nice to have a “fresh start” as we transition back into more structure and routines.  I love sitting down at the beginning of the school year and penciling in all the important dates and not having to wait until I have a new planner for the “new year” in January.

I am a paper planner person all the way and I just love having a physical calendar in front of me. I have tried many brands of planners over the years(Erin Condren, Emily Ley, etc), and have been the happiest with Bloom planners and they also have a great price point.

Day Designer wall calendar

In our kitchen, we also have a shared calendar which includes appointments, events, practices, etc that all of our family can refer to. The Day Designer wall calendars are wonderful for this and I love that they have so many color and print options depending on your style and preferences

It Takes a Village…

 

Swim team ended for us last week and it was the end of an intense but wonderful month and a half of daily swimming and the wonderful community that comes along with it. I think a lot about “our parenting village” and I am so grateful to have made friends in many different areas of our family life.

I could not have done so many things this summer without the help of these people and it was such an important reminder about how small things really do add up. I remember hearing about this elusive “village” when our kids were very young and feeling not quite sure how you created one.

I will say that saying just hello and finding something in common with another person can the gateway to lifelong friends.  It is also important to remember that most other people feel the same way as you and would be happy to have a new friend or just someone to chat with for a bit.

This summer I also learned about hard cider seltzer, I am always late to these things but I love how delicious and dry these are, and these tiny cans are a perfect size!

Currently Loving…Beyblades!

 

I don’t think I can talk about some of the successes of summer without giving a shout out to the ultimate friend maker & connector, BEYBLADES. The boys were introduced to these this past spring by some friends at school and it has been a “bey bonanza” since then…You don’t need a lot (and they were using a pizza pan for their “arena” in the photo above, my friend Jess is super smart!) and they are hours of fun.

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I had never heard of these things before but I guess they were a thing that has come back as of recently… Anyway, the kids are playing with them now as I write this and they only argue about them I’d say 50% of the time…so I would call that a win!

Speaking of the Kids Arguing…

If you talk to any other parent this time of year, they will probably say the same thing…school can start anytime now and THE KIDS NEED TO BE SEPARATED!!! Our kids truly do spend the entire summer together, so I totally get it, but oh man, the drama! So last weekend we decided to each go our own way with one of the boys, and it was BLISS!

Being a Tourist In Your Own Town/State…

There is something so fun about soaking in all the activities right where you live. Vermont is a place a lot of people visit for vacation and we are lucky to live here all the time.

Owls Head Farm PYO Blueberries…

We have an annual tradition of hitting up Owls Head Farm at our old stomping grounds in Richmond, and we were excited to go for the pick 6 quarts get a 7th free deal.

Our younger son is an amazing berry picker and he is at the perfect age to still think this is totally fun and cool(not so with the 9-year-old!) so we completed this task in under an hour. It was the most beautiful summer morning and the berries were big and delicious.

 

Swimming at Warren Falls:

 

How gorgeous and clear is this water? I drove over the Lincoln Gap with our older son and hit up the swimming holes at Warren Falls. He “snorkeled” (with his goggles) and I sat reading my book with my feet in the water. It was amazing.

 

If you don’t have Chaco Sandals, are you really a Vermonter? 😉 We also explored the area where people jump in and he went quite a few times while I watched and took some photos. My river jumping days are over(long story for another day!)but it was so fun to see him so excited about it!

Canteen Creemee Company

 

We didn’t drive all that way to not try out the Canteen Creemees and they were amazing!! I had the chocolate mint which was great but the maple creemee was out of this world!!! It was topped with maple cotton candle and while normally don’t do a lot of extra toppings (besides rainbow sprinkles) it was the perfect addition.

Currently NOT Loving…Packing Lunch!

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After packing lunches for the boys for many years, we have fully embraced hot lunch at school..so my packing skills were a little rusty when we had to break out the old Yum Boxes for camp this week. I did okay on the first day…but it went downhill from there. It doesn’t matter whether you are feeding your kids at home or packing it for them, the food disappears faster than you can buy it and their opinions change on the daily…

One of my top parenting hacks is to get cafeteria lunch if your school has that option. Ours is amazing, well balanced and they have so many more options than the dismal options that were available when we were kids. It is such a time saver and also money saver as buying everything to pack in a lunch box (the two above were lunch and two snacks) is quite expensive, especially if you have big eaters.

Currently Reading…

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It has been a little slow in the social media department as this week was very work-focused for me but I have been quite doing a bit of reading in the evenings. I finished The Forever Summer which was a perfect summer read (predictable yet enjoyable) and Life and Other Inconveniences was published this past week if you are looking for another one to add to your end of summer reading list! The Wedding Party is coming up next for me, and I have heard great things.


I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Friday! <3

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…Summer Fruit, Pool Life, Shellac Nails, Library Book Sales & Turning Nine!

Book Blog

Checking-in:

Hello and happy Thursday. How is your week going? As many wonderful things that have happened during the last few weeks, it has also had its fair share of challenges and sadness. I often struggle with how to balance sharing a lot of my life on a public platform while also bearing in mind that we all have harder realities of everyday life that are more private.

It is a hectic time in general with work and family life and I am thankful to have so many great support systems in place that really make such a big difference with the harder parts of life. Alright, I think that was important to say, as I tend to share some of our “highlight reel” in photos on these Currently Loving posts.

So here is a little of what we have been up to…

Swimming Life

Our family wrapped up the swim meet season last week and our practices will be winding down soon too. It has been such a wonderful part of our summer. Having something that is daily works really well for us because it gets us out of the house by a certain time each day and gives us some structure that can be really hard to find this time of year.

Our boys made so much progress this summer. The swim team has been a great reminder and conversation starter about doing our best and being kind and supportive to both our teammates, competitors and ourselves. I will miss our swimming community so much but there is always next year!

Daily swimming means we are at the pool all the time. It isn’t a bad place to be and with great wifi, it makes it a great place to catch up on work. The boys practice at the same time now which if you have ever had kids on different team schedules you know what is a gift this is!

Berries galore

We are lucky to live near so many wonderful family farms and that means this time of year we are picking all the berries. We were excited to drive down the road to opening day at Adam’s Berry Farm and the berries were incredible! We didn’t last too long because it was during our brief summer heatwave so we will be back!

Library Book Sale

After berry picking, we headed to the annual town library book sale! I love supporting the library(and it’s upcoming renovation!) stocking up on past favorites and also grabbing some to share with friends! 💓

Between the kids and me we brought three totes bags and it wasn’t enough! Next year we need a duffle bag. 🤣 ⁣
library book sale kids books

We arrived early and waited in line for about 10 minutes and it was worth sweating through our clothes. We picked up so many picture books including a bunch of golden books. Flynn also added some super informative books to our collection…first words in Italian and a guide to venomous animals, ha!

Lake Life on a Hot Summer Day…

We headed out on the boat and it was the best way to cool down. Although with the intense heat it also means there can be fast approaching summer storms. This one snuck in and surprised us and while it was very interesting to see from the boat, we were eager to get back to dry land.

Shellac Nails Home Removal

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You know I love to discuss the random and obscure and I thought it was a great time to share about my shellac nails experience. I almost never paint my nails but I do always have shellac on my toenails. I get a shellac pedicure every 4-5 weeks and it is a great and long-lasting way to keep them looking nice when I am quite rough on regular nail polish.

For the wedding a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to get my nails done and so I ended up getting a shellac manicure two days before the wedding. It lasted a good 10 days or so before they started to look a little rough and I needed to get it off ASAP. They were also starting to get longer which I don’t like the feeling of…I do a lot of computer work and it was driving me crazy! Anyway, I knew I could go in and have it removed but it really wasn’t something I could easily fit into our schedule.

So off I went to the pharmacy… I grabbed a container of full-on acetone and some cotton balls.  At first, I tried the wrapping method with soaked cotton balls and tin foil, similar to the way they remove it at the nail salon. Then I changed tactics and did the soaking method on my other hand…as suggested by the Pioneer Woman of all people…

I found that the soaking method worked better and because I don’t have a lot of nail tools, I used the end of a measuring spoon to have push off the remaining polish which was quite effective…I am nothing if not resourceful, ha!

So I am not saying this is the most non-toxic method, but I think if you are going the shellac route you know that isn’t either…I was very pleased with how easy it was and I am super happy to have short and naked nails once again! I didn’t find that it damaged them in any way and I would definitely do shellac again for a special event, I just don’t have the patience to keep up with something like that in my everyday life.

Creemees & AC

It’s totally normal to take a photo to send to your kids when you have a creemee without them right?! Don’t worry, they were off having a special dinner and having ice cream after but we couldn’t resist. Buzz spent a lot of time indoors during the heatwave because it is just so hard to keep dogs cool. We are thankful to have AC and lots of ceiling fans.

Turning Nine!

Someone in our family turned NINE! For some reason, this number is hitting me hard. Maybe it is because it is halfway to 18 or maybe it is just because I can remember when I was nine so vividly…I know he is still so young but he really is growing up so quickly.

The past nine years have been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Parenting is such a gift and it is also the hardest thing I have ever done. I am so grateful to have a child that is kind, understanding and helps us learn and grow every day. 

And when you turn nine you have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and sushi and hibachi for dinner…seems pretty perfect to me!

Alright, that is all for now. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. <3