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…{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}”

Five Things To Tell You… | May 18th, 2020

five things to tell you

Welcome to my new blog series, Five Things To Tell You... In addition to my Currently Loving posts, I wanted another way to share random info and updates, so if this is your thing too, you’re welcome! 😉

One: The Little Things

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While many things have changed, some have stayed the same, including the beginning of Vermont’s creemee season. Like many small businesses, local creemee stands have pivoted to make sure that they can offer their products in a safe way and we have been making the rounds. We were there for Cookie Love’s opening day, which is an annual tradition for our family.

Continue reading “Five Things To Tell You… | May 18th, 2020”

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 Loving…Online Photography Workshops, All Things Winter Break, Parenting Life & Our First Book Club of 2020 {Gen The Bookworm}

Currently Loving

Welcome to the First Coffee Talk of 2020!

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

Vermont photography workshop

This past weekend Kristy and I taught our first 2020 workshop of the year, our Your Life Your Camera Intermediate photography class.

Vermont photographers

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 Camera Beginner 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!

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

Gen The Bookworm

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.

(*I bought this stemless wine glass for our younger son’s teacher as one of her holiday gifts, isn’t it great?!)

Book Club Holiday Edition

book socksIt 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

Gen The BookwormThank 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.

coffee at home

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!

Backyard Adventures

Vermont

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!

Backyard Skiing…

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

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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!

Parenting Life

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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

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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

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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!

Better Together Book Club

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 Failure yet, 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

guest posts

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!

Photographer Life in Vermont | It’s Workshop Season! {Gen The Bookworm Photography Talk}

A New Year and a Change of Pace…

Vermont Family Photographer

With the New Year always comes a change of pace in our photography work life and it is something I look forward to every January. While there are photo sessions to edit year-round, this is definitely our “slower” time of year in the family portrait department as many Vermonters often want their portraits captured during spring/summer and fall when the temperatures and weather conditions are a little milder. 😉

Vermont Family Portrait Photography

Kristy put together her year-end photography recap this morning and if you would like to see a little bit of the photography we do (or just have a reminder of what Vermont looks like when it isn’t January!) you can see her  2019 Year in Review Post HERE.

Learning, Organizing, and Growing!

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Because the other seasons of the year are quite hectic, we embrace this season of life with open arms! Over the years we have realized that the first few months of the year is the ideal time to learn, organize and grow, and that’s where our workshops come in!

Vermont Photography Workshops

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We taught our first introduction to photography course way back in 2014 and it is amazing to think how far it has come. Kristy and I now teach photography and DSLR workshops from beginner to advanced techniques and a workshop that teaches you how to organize your digital photos and put a system into place so you have your memories backed up, accessible AND printed!

Your Life, Your Camera an Introduction to Photography Workshop!

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Did you get a new camera this holiday season? Is 2020 the year you’re going to learn how to use the one you already have? We have just a couple of seats left in our upcoming beginner DSLR workshop and we would love to have you join us.

We will cover everything you need to know to start taking pictures you’ll love. We have been teaching this class for five years and are excited to meet more people who are looking to take their photos to the next level and join our photography community. 

Our four-hour workshop includes:

  • Getting off automatic mode
  • An introduction to natural light
  • Beginner composition
  • Tips for genuine and fun images
  • Hands-on practice and lots of Q&A
  • Taught by two experienced educators and photographers
  • Participation in an ongoing YLYC alumni Facebook group.

The Details:

Saturday, January 25th, 12-4PM, South Burlington Vermont  $150

Email kristy@kristydooleyphotography.com to reserve your seat!

To learn more about what the flow of our Your Life, Your Camera is like, you can read my blog post HERE

Your Life, Your Memories, A Photo Organization Class!

Vermont photography class

If just getting more organized is your priority right now…our first Your Life, Your Memories photo organization class in 2020 is happening in just a couple of weeks!!

Join Us on Friday, January 17th to learn how to organize, store, and print your photo memories. Email kristy@kristydooleyphotography.com to reserve your seat!

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10 Year Wedding Anniversary! {Wedding & Honeymoon Memories & 24-Hours Away in Stowe!}

9.19.09 Wedding Memories…

Daria Bishop Photographers(Wedding Photos by Daria Bishop Photographers)

Last Thursday we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary!  It was a regular work and school day for us so we went to a 4:45pm pizza dinner with the kids followed by ice cream at the Scoop and then called it a day.

 

dinner with kids

Anniversary photo by our 9-year-old! We did manage to get away though…

On Friday we headed away for a 24-hour escape!

Stowe, Vermont weekend

We got married in Stowe so we have always liked celebrating up there every year. We have managed to make it there 9/10 years so that is pretty good! It is close by but feels like a whole different world and has so many special memories for us. We, of course, had to stop at Cold Hollow Cider Mill on our way! I love cider donuts but I don’t like the ones with sugar sprinkled all over them so these ones are my very favorite!

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We got married at Stowe Mountain Lodge, which is now The Lodge at Spruce Peak. Our wedding was one of their very first ones because they had just opened in 2009 so it has grown and changed so much since then!

Stowe, Vermont weekend

I like to act like I am a tourist when I am in Stowe (actually all of the time really…) and so I totally made Lucas pull over so I could take the iconic Stowe shot. We also took lots of selfies at our wedding ceremony location.

The Lodge at Spruce PeakWe didn’t have big plans which was exactly what we were looking for! These days, our lives feel like go, go, go, all the time. I know this is just part of the stage of life we were in with our kids, but downtime is a special thing right now!

We had lunch on the patio and then read by the pool with our Kindles. It was amazing! Our kids had school on Friday which is why we decided to go up then because it allowed us to need a little less childcare help and a weekday is always a little quieter up there so that was nice!

The Lodge at Spruce Peak

We had dinner and then read our Kindles by the fireplace, Facetimed with the kids and were asleep by 9:30! Regular routines are hard to break but it was lovely to have zero demands from anybody!

latte art

The next morning we were up by 6:30 so we found some coffee & maple lattes and had a relaxing morning.

Stowe wedding

After breakfast, we said “goodbye and see you next year!” to our special spot and headed off to meet our boys at their fall soccer jamboree. Our friends watched the kids for us so we could go away which we are so grateful for!

And just for fun, here is what we were doing 10 years ago right now…

St. John

We were on our honeymoon in St. John USVI. We rented a villa and a jeep for the week and it was just the best. Maybe for our 15th anniversary, we will go back there! I am also very proud of these honeymoon “selfies” because I took them with my little Canon digital camera! We definitely did not have iPhones back then…

St. John USVI

We had the best time exploring, snorkeling, eating lots of delicious food and reading(in the shade!) See, some things never change, ha!

honeymoon in St. John

Thanks for letting me reminisce a little! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. <3

 

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…{Back to School, Vermont Life & Favorite Podcast Episodes}

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Checking-In:

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.

Finding Space

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.

Vermont Life

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.

Book Photography

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!

Regular Life…

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 book and 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…

22 Hours: An American Nightmare Series

The Short Stacks Episode 20: Kim Brooks the author of Small Animals

Sarah’s Book Shelves Episode 27: Live Fall 2019 Book Preview with Catherine from Gilmore Guide

10 Things To Tell You Episode 31: Best Books Lately with Alyssa Hertzig


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

The Better Together Book Club | Charlotte, Vermont Public Library | A Motherhood Book Group

motherhood book club book selection

Connections Through Reading

One of the most wonderful parts of the online reading community is the connections I have made through it. I have met book lovers from all over the world as well as in our very small state of Vermont. While I love the reach online connections can allow you, there is something so special about connecting in person.

Better Together A Motherhood Book Club

Last spring I had the idea of starting a local book club centering around issues that are not only a big part of my life but so many of the women around me. Through the help and support of our local library, this dream has become a reality.  The Better Together Book Club is a book group focusing on motherhood and will be starting this fall!

motherhood book club

The Better Together Book Club

My friend, reader, fellow mom and elementary school Literacy Coach/Specialist Kelly and I are delighted to be co-facilitating this group together! We have been working hard behind the scenes and couldn’t be more excited to finally be making this public! Information went out in the Charlotte Library Newsletter yesterday so we thought it was the perfect time to share online as well.

Book selections will change monthly and will be a mix of fiction and nonfiction, including topics pertaining to parenting, marriage, mental health, self-care and the work/life “balance”. We will meet and discuss the book and topics relating to it as well as enjoying some tea and light snacks. We are also so honored that we already have some of the authors scheduled to come when we discuss their book!

Our First Book Club Selection

Our first book club selection will be To Have and To Hold. While I am lucky to have had many conversations with the people in my personal life, never have I read something that explains the complexities of motherhood and marriage in such a profound manner until I read this book. The highs and lows of parenthood, the immense love and also the intense quest to reclaim ourselves as women and partners when our lives will never be the same are so real and valid.

Author Molly Millwood will join the discussion on Thursday, October 10 @ 7:00pm.  Books are available for loan at the circulation desk. Registration is required by contacting Susanna or Margaret at the Charlotte Library at info@charlottepubliclibrary.org Once the spots are full a waitlist will be started. While this event is open to anyone in the area, priority will be given to Charlotte residents if a waitlist occurs.

Hardcopy & Ebook Copies

Charlotte librarians Susanna and Margaret have been so amazing at helping get this group up and running with us. Our October book, To Have and To Hold, is now available as a “Charlotte Only” book on Libby (which decreases the wait time significantly!). They also ordered 10 copies of To Have and To Hold which will be available at the library for pick up after Labor Day!

Book Club Ongoing Schedule & Communication

After our first event, The Better Together Book Club will continue to meet monthly at The Charlotte Library the second Wednesday of every month from 7:00-8:30pm.  Subsequent books will be available a month before each book club so everyone has time to read them. All announcements will be shared and in our private facebook group which you can be added to once you are registered.

If you live in the area, we would love to have you join us! If you don’t, we would love it if you would like to follow along. We plan on sharing updates about each book club on my blog which will include our discussion questions and highlights of our discussion. I will also announce the next book we will be discussing at that time.

I just talked with Susanna and we only have a few spots left so if you are interested, shoot them an email at info@charlottepubliclibrary.org to register! And please feel free to email or comment below with any questions. **Update, as of 8/30/19 there is a waitlist for this group**