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:

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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…Maine, Worklife Balance, A $12 Romper & An Upcoming Photography Workshop

currently loving...

Checking-in:

Hello!! Who else cannot believe it is the last day of July?! It always happens but after the 4th of July summer just speeds right on by. I am excited for August because we have some of our very favorite annual traditions during the next few weeks, including a visit to the Addison County Fair & Field Days…and a family trip to Maine! Here are some photos from our visit last year…

Work-Life vs. Blog Life

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Someone asked me how summer was going with work and the kids yesterday…and I think I was like “ummmmmmmmmm”.  My editing work is going fairly well because I have had some consistent childcare which is essential.

And everything else, well you can just look laptop screen and figure that one out…ha! I think it is easy to envision working “part-time” as an ideal setup (well I did anyway!!) but I often just feel pulled in all different direction and kind of feel like I am not doing anything very well.

I try to be as organized as I can but and my schedule has so many pluses but the reality is, it can feel really tricky, especially this time of the year. There are so many wonderful parts of this stage of parenting but it’s when work and family life overlap that things feel challenging and that happens more than I would like during the summer…

We have had many conversations about how to make things work the best for our family and it is really all hands on deck this time of year. While we do have a small amount of paid childcare, Lucas also takes the kids one afternoon a week which is something we figured out after reflecting on what worked and didn’t work last year. We also are lucky in the sense that my busy work season is the opposite of his, which helps everything feel more manageable.

I also have been saying NO to work lately which is really hard for me but I don’t want to say yes and not be able to give my all to someone or something. It is helpful to remind myself that just because I can’t do something right now, does not mean that chance or opportunity goes away forever…and sometimes the timing might be even better at another time. 

I am planning two articles for the newspaper after taking a little month summer hiatus, a new Mom Book Club at the library(with some amazing guest speakers!) in the fall and a lot of other ideas are stirring around in my head. It is hard not to get ahead of myself.

I get so excited about so many things but I also need to be realistic about the amount of time I actually have to work with. School and “regular life” will be here before we know it and so I am trying to really enjoy these last few weeks of summer without thinking about all the things I could be doing “better” or more.

Currently Listening To…

I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks this summer as I tend to do during my heavier computer editing seasons. I tend to listen to one Audible book a month and listen to the rest on Libby. I am planning on sharing some of my favorite audiobooks soon! I tend to listen to non-fiction for the most part but I will listen to fiction as long as it isn’t too complicated.

Our daily commute is about an hour total during the summer so podcasts have been a lifesaver! During our car rides we tend to listen to either But Why, Brains On or Smash Boom Best which are all kid-focused podcasts that I enjoy too.

When we have listened to all of those the kids also enjoy some of my podcast favorites…even though they aren’t for kids, a lot of them are totally kid-friendly and Sarah’s Book Shelves Live is one of them. It has also created some great book conversations between the three of us which I love.

Romper Weather…

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I am not someone who embraces new fashion trends quickly…or sometimes at all…BUT I had to run to Walmart last weekend to get some oil for our boat. It isn’t somewhere I tend to go a lot (and I do understand people have strong feelings about it so it’s totally cool if it isn’t your thing) but it was the only place that was open already. I ended up getting totally sidetracked by the rack of rompers and ended up leaving with two of them…and no boat oil because they were sold out, ha.

Walmart romper

I have already worn them a bunch of times and they are amazingly comfortable, breathable and great for this muggy weather we are experiencing. I am 5’4″ and a size 10 and I chose a size large…I think a medium would have been fine because they are stretchy but I am happy with it!

I convinced a few of my friends to try them and they love them as well…even my tall buddies who have had trouble with the length of this style in the past. I have zero affiliation with this but I thought I would share the link HERE if you are interested in checking it out.

Keeping Cool & Beach Reading

Last weekend was hot and humid and we spent all of Saturday out on the lake. It was wonderful and so refreshing. We started out at the Bouquet River and then headed over to Split Rock where the water is always extra chilly.

Are you a beach reader? It is one of my favorite things…I like to position my chair really close to the water so that the waves come up over my toes. I like to sit in the shade and our Sport-Brella is so easy to set up and provides awesome sun protection.

Currently Watching…

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Lucas and I just watched the Who Killed Garrett Phillips? documentary on HBO. It examines the 2011 murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips and the subsequent trial of Clarkson University soccer coach Oral “Nick” Hillary.  This case shares a grievous miscarriage of justice and sadly, this family still doesn’t have closure over the loss of their son. If you are looking for a conversation starter, this is it. I found it especially interesting as it all takes place just over the lake in New York so a lot of parts of it, especially the small-town politics, were all too relatable.

Currently Looking Foward To…

It doesn’t seem possible but fall will be here before we know it…This past week Kristy and I  have been going over our teaching plans for the rest of 2019 and the start of 2020! Teaching is one of my very favorite parts of my work and you can learn more about it HERE if you are interested…

Your Life Your Camera Workshop

Vermont introduction to photography workshopDo you have a DSLR camera you’d love to learn how to use better? Would you like to take your photos to the next level? The next run of our “Your Life Your Camera” workshop is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th from 12-4 in South Burlington. The cost is $150 and seating is limited. This workshop sells out every time- email kristy@kristydooleyphotography.com to reserve your seat today!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Wednesday. <3