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

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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!

Audible book

 

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 they 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

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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

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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

 

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…blankets in June, Chernobyl on HBO and a green lipstick?!

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Checking in:

Good morning! How is your week going? We are in our second to last week of school for the boys and life feels very full right now. This time of the year has many highs and it also is quite hectic. The days are long with late evening baseball games and the kids full of energy and excitement about all the fun end of the school year activities.

It is a great time of year but also hard to find that feeling of balance. Work demands and everything else that comes along with “adulthood” does not just pause when family life becomes more demanding, and it is something we are constantly trying to juggle.

baseball playoffs

There is also this frantic pace to finish “all the things” on my end before the kids are home for summer. While we do have some summer childcare, it is quite minimal, so anything that isn’t super urgent (work obligations) gets pushed to the side until school starts again.

While the kids have been in school for a while now, this is only my 2nd summer of juggling work and the kids during summer vacation and it is definitely a work in progress. From my conversations with other parents, no matter how you swing it, it is a stressful season in many ways. It is helpful to know we are not alone and like most things, it will all work out. I tend to get the most apprehension about things BEFORE they happen because I start thinking about it too much. It is good to plan, but not to overthink every possible scenario…which is easier said than done! I do know that once we make the transition we will find our groove and like all Vermont summers, it will fly by. <3

Currently Loving:

My Kelty Bestie Blanket

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While there is a lot of talk of summer, we have yet to see much summer weather around here. Usually by the time June come around it is warmer, but this year has been interesting. I shouldn’t complain because it was snowing in Quebec this week, but it has been unusually cold here. Vermonters don’t have their heat on in June, mostly out of principle, so my blanket has come in handy this week at work and at the kid’s baseball games.

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And the best part about it is it stuffs into this little bag, just like a sleeping bag, and it is super light and easy to keep in the back of your car. I think it is a camping blanket, but as someone who doesn’t do a lot of camping, I can see many other great uses for it! I wore it wrapped around my legs like a burrito the other night and it kept me toasty warm.

Currently Watching:

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I know I know, I need to stop talking about Chernobyl on HBO, but it really is that good. Lucas and finished the fifth and final episode in the docu-drama miniseries last night. It came out on Monday night, but there is no way I could stay up late enough to watch something that comes on at 9pm, ha! So anyway, we finished it last night and it was just amazingly well done. If you haven’t watched yet, you need to add it to your list.

Currently Loving:

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Lipstick Queen in Frog Prince 

I love a good tinted lip balm and a few months ago I tried the sample version of Lipstick Queen in the color Frog Prince. It is green in the tube, but it changes to a lovely shade of pinkish red (maybe a bit of coral?), depending on your pH and skin tone.

It is the perfect pop of color and moisture and I have found myself reaching for it over my previously preferred Burts Bees tinted lip balm so I thought I should share! I did try the Hello Sailor shade as well which is more of a plum color and it was a bit too purple on me for my pale skin tone but I have heard great reviews about that one as well.


I am off to grab the kids at school and then we are headed to a baseball playoff game this evening.  I hope you have a great rest of your Wednesday!

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…| Book Mail, Listening at Work, Book Besties & Thoughts on Natural Deodorant |

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Checking-in:

Hello! How is your week going? I can’t believe it is Thursday already! Holiday weeks always throw me off and they also tend to be more hectic with 5 days of work fitting into 4 days. This is my busy work season now that it is nice out (Vermont photography season is in full swing) and I am trying to fit in as much as possible before school gets out in mid-June when our childcare will be pretty limited.

Currently listening to…

With the increase in photo editing, it means I have officially entered “audiobook” season! I am lucky to have a job that is in the creative field, which enables to listen to things while I edit photos. For weddings, I tend to choose audio books since they often are about the same amount of time it takes to edit a whole wedding…and regular sessions I tend to listen to a podcast episode or two.

The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates

I haven’t made it that far yet but I am just loving The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates. It is so powerful and she is a wonderful orator. The news had been hard lately and as important as I think it is to know what is going on around us, I also love something that motivates to be more proactive and supportive of others in our own daily lives.

IMG_2978I know I mentioned the docu-drama Chernobyl last week, but this week I learned that there is also a podcast that goes along with of the episodes. I talk about this more on my IG stories earlier today but it is amazing to hear the thoughts behind the making of the series and the choices that went into doing a show about this real event that affected thousands and thousands of people. If you haven’t checked it out I highly recommend it!

Currently loving…

Berkley Publishing

Book Mail!

There is NOTHING better than book mail! This week I was excited to receive packages from Berkley Publishing and St. Martin’s Press. Kristan Higgins is one of my favorite summer authors and Life and Other Inconveniences was just amazing! I have included it on my summer reading lists and think it would be a great one to toss in your beach bag. Higgin’s writing is funny and relatable but her characters are also relatable and multidimensional. Have you read any of her books before?

Friends who read together stay together:

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Speaking of Kristan Higgins, I happened to show up to work on Tuesday with the same book as Kristy and we were wearing the same color sweatshirt. We obviously had to take a selfie to document this.

In addition to being my co-worker, Kristy is also my wonderful friend and reading buddy. We love discussing our current books at lunchtime but we normally aren’t reading the same one at the same time because we share most of our hard copy books…so this was really exciting! Do you have friends that you share books with? It’s the best!

If You Only Knew came highly recommended from my Bookstagram friends and Kristy already finished it and I am almost done and am loving it. It’s the perfect book for this more hectic time of year. <3

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Back to book mail & a Diane Chamberlain update!!

St. Martin’s Press was kind enough to send me the paperback release of Dream Daughter which is being published next week on 6/4! If you haven’t read this yet, this will be the perfect summer book to add to your reading list. Dream Daughter was in my top 10 books of 2018 and it might be my favorites Diane book ever and I have read A LOT of them.

I will have to do a whole post about my favorite Diane Chamberlain books but she rarely lets me down and her books are always unique and super engrossing, while also being total page-turners. I have read a lot of them while on vacation and they are the perfect books to just get lost in.

AND the most amazing exciting news of all, they announced that Diane will have another novel published in early 2020 (January 24th to be exact!) Big Lies In A Small Town!

Currently using…

natural deoderant

Lavanila deodorant in Vanilla Coconut

While I would like to say that I have parted ways with antiperspirant deodorant, I have tried and I just can’t do it. I think it has come from a lifetime of having that feeling of “dry” armpits but I just can’t get used to that “sweaty feeling”, especially while I work out.

I am all about compromise, so I have decided to use my “regular” Tom of Maine antiperspirant in the mornings and then putting on a more “natural” one, specifically Lavanila, when I get dressed for the day after class.

I don’t like to recommend things until I have really given them a fair shot but this stuff is pretty amazing! I have very sensitive skin and in addition to not cutting the sweat(deodorant just masks the smell of sweat but it doesn’t stop it like antiperspirant), it would make my underarms break out in a painful rash.

A lot of “natural” deodorants have baking soda in them which I think was the culprit. Lavanila is super gentle, smells amazing and really keeps you smelling quite fresh! And it lasts a long time. I first ordered it last May and each stick lasts 3+ months for me of daily use.

Have you made the deodorant switch?! Or are you meeting in the middle like me? 😉


Alright, that is all for this morning! I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Thursday. <3

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog. Thank you! 

 

A Day in the Life | Gen The Bookworm | May 2019

A Day in the Life | May 2019

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So much laundry:

I am going to try and do “day in the life” post every couple of months because I always find it so fascinating how so many things change and how some things are exactly the same(like folding and putting away ALL the laundry!) I last did a “Day in the Life” post back in March and you can see that blog post HERE.

I have always been so interested in seeing “regular life” much more than special events or photoshoots when I follow along with a blog. There is something so fascinating about seeing the day to day minutiae and how people complete their daily work, life, and family tasks.

So if you like that too, you are in luck! The following is a look at a regular weekday at our house….like most everything else on here it really is about what I am up to but a lot of that involves the kids too.

Early Riser:

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I have always been an early riser. When I was a kid I would wake up early and watch Flipper…does anyone else remember that show? It was the best!

I have never needed an alarm to wake up because my internal alarm is pretty strong! I usually wake up around 5am so that I have an hour before everyone else is up too. I use this time to savor my multiple mugs of coffee, catch up on work and emails and also create some the content for my bookstagram and this blog.

I am a very routine oriented person so this really doesn’t vary much…I usually run the Roomba in the evenings and I put the chairs up on the counters so that it can clean up all the crumbs that are never ending around here with the kids.

We set the coffee maker alarm fo to make 10 cups of coffee and Lucas and I split it in the mornings. I drink my coffee unsweetened but I always use half & half…milk just doesn’t cut it for me.

Buzz comes down to go outside at this time and then comes back in and goes back to sleep with Parker. He is not an early bird!

Morning Routines:

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I also use this time to catch up with my other early riser friends…Kristy is one of them! Lucas leaves before 6 so this is also the time we check in quickly before we both start our days.

At 6 I go upstairs to shower and I find Parker reading in his bed. We recently made a deal (which included pokemon cards bribery)that they need to stay in their rooms until 6:30am. We were having way too much early morning sibling drama and me trying to referee from the shower and so this is a win for all of us!

While I get ready I listen to my audiobook and then have my breakfast of a perfect bar, green tea and my Care Of Vitamins. Both boys come down at 6:30am and they have their breakfasts and get ready for the day.

Buzz and those dang squirrels:

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Buzz comes downstairs and places himself on his couch perch which is the perfect place to oversee the morning chaos. He is also a very routined guy.

While I pack the kids snacks (they have lunch from school) the squirrels have their morning meal at the bird feeders…they are quite the acrobats.

Also, does anyone else recognize this blue ice pack? It came with my Medela breast pump that I got when Parker was a newborn, and it is probably one of my most used baby items ever, ha! We leave for school around 7:20 if everything is running smoothly and this particular morning was super sunny and beautiful! We have had a very un-spring-like May this year so any sunshine is much appreciated around here.

School drop off, Pure Barre & more:

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After school drop off I head to Pure Barre. Although my schedule ebbs and flows depending on the time of year, I try to go to barre 4-5 times a week…for both my physical AND mental health. It is one hour that sets the rest of my day off to the best start.

I started going to Pure Barre in 2015 and I haven’t looked back since! I probably talk about it too much but it really was life-changing. I had a bad back and head injury in high school and my almost life long back pain is almost non-existent since I upped my core strength through barre…and let’s be honest, 50% of why I go is to see my barre friends! They are THE best.

After barre, I get an iced latte. It is a bad addiction that also brings me so much happiness…it really is the little things. Between coffee and tea, I drink a fair amount of caffeine that my body is so used to it now…which I am not sure is a good thing or not!

After this, I head to Kristy’s. I am not working with her on this particular day but I had to pick up some books and I always love to see her! I also consider her house my South Burlington home, and I even have my own drawer in her bathroom. I get panicky about not washing my face right after I work out so I appreciate this very much! She is a very accommodating friend and co-worker. 😉

Books reviews & newspaper column:

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I chat with Kristy a bit and admire her beautiful gardens and blooming trees…we have lived at our house for 4 years and we still haven’t done any landscaping so potted plants are the extent of my gardening. When I get home Buzz wakes up from his morning snooze to greet me. I get to work on finished a book review and then start working on my Charlotte News column. Next week I will be sharing my summer reading recommendations.

Multi-tasking & distractions:

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While I appreciate having the flexibility to do some of both my photography and blog work at home, I have a very hard time not getting distracted. I am a terrible multitasker and so I appreciate that I do most of my work at our office at Kristy’s because I don’t get sidetracked by other things like I do at home! While I am working I have a bowl of Chex with a little maple syrup and milk for lunch and then I take Buzz for a midday bike ride/walk to check the mail.

Dog play date, wedding editing and visiting the library:

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When we arrived home we were happy to see that our neighbor Mason Jar brought himself over for a dog playdate…the benefits of small town country life! I did a little wedding editing work for my amazingly talented friend Jenna and then it was time to go get the kids from school. My work is often pretty chopped up and means I do a lot of it during more “untraditional” work hours but I do appreciate the flexibility it gives me with the kid’s schedule.

After school, the kids played on the playground for a bit while I caught up with my friend Elisa. After we headed to the library so I could check with Susanna the librarian about our upcoming Libby on the Porch event next week!

Flynn was also excited to model our library bag which we use every week with our library book hauls. We were getting ready to go home and get ready for baseball when we got the email that Parker’s baseball practice was canceled due to the impending weather. While we usually play in all kinds of undesirable weather here in Vermont, it was about to really pour so we were all a bit relieved.

Rainy evening means canceled plans & ice cream:

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The kids were excited to have some unexpected evening downtime and I had to switch around our dinner plans because we were planning on eating at the snack shack during Parker’s baseball…you can’t go wrong with a $3 cheeseburger! 😉 Lucas made dinner which was a mix of some random things (thanks Costco!) and then we decided to stop by Cookie Love which now has their summer evening hours. I had a coffee creemee with cookie crumble and it was amazing!

Laundry & Pokemon cards:

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And it wouldn’t be a “day in the life” post without talking about laundry. We do at least one load of laundry a day which means the folding and putting away of clothing adds up quickly if we don’t do a little each night. We usually go upstairs around 7:15 and the boys shower and get ready for bed before having a little wind-down time, either reading, drawing or playing a game…recently it has been Pokemon of course.

So we took advantage of this and did a bunch of laundry folding and then both ended up reading on our Kindles. While the boys turn their lights off around 8(on an ideal night), Parker reads with his book light until 8:45ish and Flynn usually takes a while to fall asleep and likes having lots of extra kisses and check-ins before it happens. They also have been staying up a lot later because of baseball games so our bedtime routine is a little off and probably won’t improve much until fall when things slow down a bit again. I can’t believe that in a few years they will be staying up way later than us, but it really isn’t that far away!


So that was a day in my life! I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of randomness. Do you like reading “day in a life” posts? I would love to hear! <3

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

A Day in the Life | Gen The Bookworm | 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!

Fitting in more reading into your daily life | small blocks of reading time

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I think it is very natural to wonder “how do they have time for that?” whenever you hear about someone devoting a lot of time to a specific hobby or activity. I am in my mid-thirties, which means many of my friends are in the same boat as me…we have kids, partners, busy careers and life just doesn’t have a lot of “downtime” right now.

A lot of us are also beyond the stage of baby and toddlerhood and are reclaiming some of our time and identities as our kids are getting older and more independent but that doesn’t necessarily mean life has slowed down at all. I do a lot of reading in the evenings but that free time is becoming shorter and shorter as our kids get older because their bedtime is now so close to when ours is..and I am sure in a few years, even later!

I have found that fitting more reading into my life doesn’t usually mean adding in long afternoons reading on the couch(although I did do that the other weekend and it was amazing) but more of finding smaller blocks of open time during my regular daily schedule.

It is easy to look at your calendar and not see a lot of free time but most of us have 10-15 minute blocks of times during our weekdays. I spend time waiting before my workout classes, before work meetings and appointments and in the car before I pick up the kids at school and when they are at a sports practice or afterschool activity. I have even read while waiting for a coffee or in line at the grocery store. All of this time really adds up and has been a great way to add in more reading time without having to adjust anything in a big way.

This means that I just need to be proactive and remember to put my book or Kindle in my work bag and then I am ready to read anytime there is some open space. I do have some friends that use the Libby or Kindle app and read right on their phones which is even easier because whoever forgets that. 😉


How do you fit in extra reading time? I would love to hear! <3