We Rise by Lifting Others | Inspiring Friends

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(image from brit.co)

This quote speaks to me so much. Without a doubt, the most important things in my life are in the people that are in it. This last year has been one of the hardest in my adult life and it has also reminded me so much of the absolutely amazing and inspiring friendships I am so lucky to have. True friendships support you and challenge you and push you to be your very best self.

Today I wanted to talk about some of my entrepreneur friends. I am not only grateful for these women but I am so inspired by them in their professional ventures…

Kristy at Kristy Dooley Photography:

My friend and co-worker Kristy not only rocks family and newborn sessions but in the last year she started regularly shooting high school senior portrait sessions and is amazing at it! Like I asked her if she could re-take mine just because she is so amazing at capturing the senior’s genuine smiles, style, and personalities. I think mine would not look quite the same though, LOL. But really, she is one of those people who comes up with an idea and totally goes for it and I have learned so much from her.

She runs a successful business partly because of her amazing business brain that helps her work smarter not harder. I am someone who tends to be very disorganized with paperwork and accounting and her systems have taught me so much.

There is nothing Kristy can’t figure out and we spend a lot of time learning how to do something tricky on our computers by watching YouTube videos. Kristy is always expanding her knowledge and skills by taking workshops and classes that allow her to learn about something new while also building upon her talent as an amazing photographer. She is also a wonderful example of someone who juggles a lot but always has “time” to take a walk in the sun or catch up over a cup of tea…a true “Juliet“. <3

Kari of Happy Go Lucky Travel:

My friend Kari who is a programmer by day and vegan baker extraordinaire by night has recently decided to start a new venture sharing about her love and expertise with travel planning. When Kari decides she is doing something she does it 100% and as someone who likes to do a lot of things but not always very well, I am so in awe of this!

Not only does she have a family and a full-time job doing things on a computer that look like a completely foreign language, but she also loves painting, drawing and teaching herself how to play the banjo while watching Avett Brothers videos.  She is one of the most self-motivated people I have ever met. Last year she made a commitment to walk up Mt. Philo every day on her lunch break and you better believe she has done it. In addition to doing all these things, she is an amazingly supportive friend who helps me talk through lots of things even if she totally hates talking on the phone a million times a day.

Elisa at Corduroy & Pine Interiors:

My friend Elisa juggles a young family of three and a local interior design business. Anytime I call Elisa she is like “hold on a sec, I just need to set down my paintbrush”. She has amazing style and I love that she is able to factor in aesthetically pleasing designs that are also family friendly.

Elisa is one of the kindest people I know and she is always up for an adventure even if it is just to the grocery store. She was my nightstand of the week guest poster last week if you would like to learn more about her and see her book recommendations and her freshly painted bedroom wall. 😉


Who is inspiring you this week? I would love to hear! <3

Wednesday Randomness | Day in the Life | March 2019

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Hello! Happy Wednesday! I am excited to share a “day in the life” post today. I used to do these posts a couple of times a year on my old blog, and it was always so much fun to look back on. This was when our kids were little and I was “home” with them full time.

Life definitely looks a lot different now and I hope to do this a couple of times a year on here because it is hard to remember all the everyday details that really do change so quickly with a young family.  Both of our kids are in school and I am working now.

Life feels hectic in a whole different way now, and I am sure that will continue to change as our boys get even older. I don’t post photos of them very much because I feel strongly that they don’t have a big online presence until they can make that choice for themselves. So this “day in the life” is mostly about what I was up to with some parenting stuff sprinkled in. I am an open book about myself, but I do try to keep my family more private, so if you are wondering about this, that is the reason. <3

I had a hard time deciding what day of the week to do a DITL post because no day is the same, either with my schedule or with the kids…so while many of our routines are consistent, the when and the where change almost daily!


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As I have mentioned, we are early risers. My husband Lucas goes to work early so we are very used to this schedule. We wake up at 5:15am and our older son usually wakes up around 5:45am so this means there is around a half hour block of “quiet time” in the mornings. We each have two big cups of coffee first thing in the morning. We both use 1/2 and 1/2 but I probably use a lot more!

Lucas gets ready to leave and we quickly check in about our day. I use the rest of this time to reply to any “more urgent” work emails, go over my calendar for the day and put together my IG post for @genthebookworm. Buzz also enjoys this peaceful part of the morning and likes to keep an eye on things from his perch on our couch. We don’t have a “no animals on the furniture policy” as you will quickly be able to see during today’s post. 😉

The boys slept in a little later on this day because of the time change, which allowed me to take a shower in peace. They are very independent now, but there are many questions and refereeing moments during this parenting life stage. They are both up by the time I am out of the shower and are making their breakfast. I get dressed (and it was a hair drying day which always takes a bit longer) and do my “morning routine”. If it is a “barre class before work” day I will just put on face lotion (and do everything else after class) and if I am going straight work I will do my makeup routine (powder, blush, mascara, eyebrows, lipstick, sometimes eye shadow if I am feeling fancy). On this day, I was going straight to work.

This school year one of my big morning parenting goals was for the kids to be able to make their own breakfast and get themselves ready to go and it has (mostly) been a success. They know the options for breakfast and we keep it simple (waffles & fruit, cereal, oatmeal, etc.) I lay out their clothing the night before (they still don’t care what they wear as long as it is “comfortable”) and they get themselves dressed, brush their teeth and make their school snacks while I pack up my work bag and their school bags and outside clothes bags.

Depending on the day this either goes great or it goes terribly. On this particular day, I was feeling the rush from their “sleeping in” and there was a lot of reminding and probably not enough patience on my end. We aim to leave at 7:25 but today it was closer to 7:35 and those 10 minutes can make all the difference!

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Every parent of school-aged children knows the joy that is everyone getting out of the car in the carline and walking into school, WITH everything they need for the day. It sometimes feels like a true TRIUMPH that we have made it to this step successfully because school mornings can feel like a real rollercoaster ride with enough bags and water bottles that it looks like we are going away for the weekend.

I leave for work at 7:44 which puts me right on schedule to arrive around 8:10am as I had planned, YES! I switch over to my true crime podcast and enjoy my 25-minute commute in total peace, while also enjoying my perfect bar which is my breakfast go to as of lately. It’s the little things!

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I met Kristy at a preschool for school portrait day. I go along to assist her when she is shooting at a larger school and it is always such an enjoyable and busy day. It’s so fun to see her photograph in this environment and the kids just love her little games…except some of the young toddlers, they are terrified of us! 😉

Our kids get out of school early on this particular weekday so that means my workday is shorter too. I head home and on my way, I stop in at Once Upon A Child and totally scored with some Hanna Andersson finds for our older son.

I don’t like to spend a lot on their clothing because they are so rough on it.  I also like to be able to have to hand me downs for our younger son so really try to do a lot of consignment and sale shopping for their clothing so I can get higher quality items. Going to these places before the clothing season begins (no one is wearing spring clothing around here anytime soon) has been my biggest success in finding great and plentiful options at consignment shops.

Once I got home I had a quick late lunch and started working on putting up a book review on my blog. I also immediately threw all our new items into the wash because I had big laundry folding plans for the afternoon.

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I did a quick clean up of the kitchen (loaded the dishwasher from breakfast and ran it and wiped down the counter)and had just enough time to throw a big pile of clean clothes on our bed. It also made me smile to see the way our older son arranged his stuffed animals on his bed when he “made it” earlier this morning. Buzz enjoyed some time on the porch, and no it definitely isn’t warm enough to have the doors open quite yet. But when you live in a house with a woodstove, its the only quick way to cool it down. 82 is a bit too hot for me!

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It was the most beautiful and sunny afternoon and Buzz was very excited to join me in picking up the kids at school. Also pictured are our older son’s library books on the counter which brought back so many reading memories for me!

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I am back at home with the kids and their buddy C, which always makes things go more smoothly! They have a snack, and then hang out upstairs while I get back to work on the laundry folding pile…They eventually move outside to their fort which entertains them for quite a while.

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I made an afternoon pick me up of green tea and settle in to respond to some emails regarding an upcoming author interview and book giveaway and then put the finishing touches on my book review. Kari arrived to pick up C and comes just time to help me with some IT questions! 😉 Kari is a computer programmer and knows SO much! My questions probably make her giggle inside but she is a good friend. <3

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Our evening was a bit of a whirlwind because I needed to drive our older son into town to meet Lucas for a UVM basketball game. We ended up meeting up with him and grabbing a quick dinner before I headed back home with our younger son. We do a lot of switching on and off with the kids and this is going to be increasing dramatically as both boys get involved in more activities.

On our way home we stopped to see the beautiful sunset over Lake Champlain. When we got home I helped him get ready for bed, posted a quick blog post and finally finished folding/putting away some of the laundry while listening to my audiobook. I read my Kindle in bed until I fell asleep not long after! Lucas got home with our older son around 9:00 and then they got ready for bed. And that was our day!


I hope you enjoyed seeing a little peek into our daily life! <3

I’m Fine and Neither Are You | Camille Pagan | Amazon First Reads | Book Review

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I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan was my Amazon First Reads March 2019 book selection.

“Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?”


I have always loved Camille Pagan’s relatable storytelling and this newest release is no different. I connected so much with the storyline of being a mom, wife, and friend. All of these things are wonderful and they can also feel so incredibly hard. The endless demands of parenthood, the amount of work it takes to keep a marriage humming along and also keeping up with the expectations of work can sometimes feel completely overwhelming.

When you add in friendships that can sometimes make you wonder “why does this feel so hard when everyone around me makes it look so easy?” it can be an easy path to thinking there is something wrong with you.

The thing is though, these things are hard for everyone in different ways, and we sometimes have no idea what is really going on behind the scenes. What someone presents isn’t always the reality and sometimes the people that have these “picture-perfect” lives need us more than we think.

“It takes courage to be yourself when everyone expects you to be someone else.”

I’m Fine and Neither Are You takes on some heavy topics including substance abuse, loss, family dynamics, infidelity, the struggles of long term relationships and finding your voice, all while being a completely engaging read. It was messy and real and this was the perfect book for me this week.

I highly recommend this book and if you want to check it out, it is the perfect time to do so. It is one of the March 2019 Amazon First Reads book selection which means that you can get a Kindle copy for FREE if you are a Prime member (or 1.99 if you are not) and/or the hardcopy version for $9.99.  It’s a great way to learn about new authors and try a new genre.


Have you read a Camille Pagan book before? I would love to know your thoughts!