Monday, March 21, 2016

100 Things I Love

books. cupcakes. sugar skulls. natural light. opera. tulips. yarn. white noise. clue. senior dogs. dr. pepper. spring. baking. gilmore girls. brick houses. wrap around porches. the ocean. flowers in vases. children's lit. gold. lemonade. granny squares. netflix. linen smell. the color aqua. rainbow book shelves. earrings. white cupboards. wood floors. picnics. slides. crocheting. fantasy novels. harry potter. coffee aisles. children. marriage. butter. thunderstorms. beards. seaweed salad. cozy blankets. cotton dresses. ice. decorating cakes. growing flowers. day trips. museums. hammerhead sharks. board books. zoos. celtic accents. trashy novels. aquariums. bunting. bookcases. ice cream sandwiches. chocolate. stacks of books. old photographs. josh groban. husband. coconut rum. names. windows. sunflowers. sex. teapots. beauty and the beast. toy stores. fire. going out to eat. memory boxes. school photos. holding hands. squishy chairs. fireworks. youtube. book vloggers. pajamas. being a mama. reading out loud. naps. christmas. birthdays. doors. walks. short hair. new years. knit hats. stickers. spanish moss. islands. laughing. peaches. peanut butter. star gazing. book stores. azalea bushes. pets.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

List 10- Beginning Chapter Books

Reading is a passion of mine, if you didn't know, and passing down the love of reading to my children is one of my top goals as a mother. Over the past few months my 4 year old and I have started diving into the brand new world (for her) of chapter books! Here is my list of 10 GREAT beginning chapter books for you and your preschooler with one sentence on why it's great-

1. Amelia Bedelia (Peggy Parish)- Amelia Bedelia will follow all of your instructions exactly which leads to some pretty hilarious mix ups and shenanigans that will have your kid LOLing.

2. Dinosaurs Before Dark- Magic Tree House #1 (Mary Pope Osborne)- A magic treehouse transports 2 kids anywhere in history that they want to visit so your kid is sure to find a book with a topic they are interested in and learn some cool facts.

3. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus (Barbara Park)- Junie B. Jones is a sassy little lady with a penchant for getting into trouble and making preschoolers giggle themselves silly.

4. The Mercy Watson series (Kate DiCamillo)- Full of piggy adventures, buttery toast, funny supporting characters and bright illustrations it is sure to be engaging and fun for any beginning chapter book enjoyer. (It is my daughter's personal favorite.)

5. Tales From Deckawoo Drive (Kate DiCamillo)- Following some supporting characters from the Mercy Watson series, these books are just as fun and and colorful as the piggy tales. 

 6. Beezua and Ramona (Beverly Cleary)- A witty, imaginative, joyfully engaging read that anyone with a sibling can relate to. 

7. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Roald Dahl)- Follow Mr. Fox on his clever adventure to outwit the farmers in this brief 96 pages and use your voice acting chops to play it up and make it extra fun.

8. The Princess in Black (Shannon and Dean Hale)- One of my personal favorites because it tosses aside the boring idea of what a princess should be and introduces a fun, kick ass princess that is gorgeously displayed in vivid colorful illustrations.

9. Emma and the Blue Genie (Cornelia Funke)- Another book full of colorful illustrations that depict an adventure between a girl and her dog and the genie she finds washed up on the beach.

 The BFG (Roald Dahl)- A hilariously ridonculous fantastical tale of a girl and the Big Friendly Giant that kids laugh out loud to and can't get enough of. (Bonus- read it now and watch the movie when it comes out!)


Monday, March 14, 2016

20ish Bookish Facts About Me

1. I prefer paperbacks to hard cover. I just love the pliability and feel of a paperback and the lighter weight really helps when carrying it around in my bag.
2. The first book I ever bought with 'my own money' was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when I was 12 or 13. I found 5 dollars in a parking lot and ran back inside the store we'd just left to buy it.
3. My homeschool teacher found out that I was reading the 2nd HP book and had never read the first so she bought it for me and had me start all over.
4. That teacher, who is also my mentor and friend to this day, is 1000% responsible for me picking up a very good reading habit as a teen.
5. My favorite book for a very long time was The Hobbit.
6. It isn't anymore. In fact, I can't choose a favorite book. Depending on my mood and the time of year and what I've read recently, different books always come to mind first.
7. When I'm reading during my free time with no one around I always turn on some sort of classical or jazz playlist and turn the volume on low. I enjoy that background noise.
8. I dog ear books. :/ Womp womp. I know this is severely frowned upon. I really plan on stopping. I just lose bookmarks so easilyyyy.
9. I am very cheap about buying books. I almost always buy 2nd hand. This has become harder for me recently because I LOVE LOVE LOVE that feel of a brand spanking new book. That buttery, never held before feeling. But books are expensive, yo.
10. My book shelves are currently organized by color.
11. All of my children's books are on different bookcases and they aren't super organized except by, like, type. Like, board books on one shelf, Little Golden books, tall books, chapter books, etc.
12. The book I've read the most is probably.... any of the first 4 Harry Potter books. I've read a few other books twice but never more than that.
13. I read to my siblings out loud a lot. That's how I've managed to read HP so many times, actually. I read each of them to my siblings individually as well as reading them on my own a couple of times. And now I get to read them all over again with MY kids.
14. My parents are not 'bookish' people. My dad has read a bit but my mom hates reading, books, libraries and anything to do with literature. For real. I don't know where my love of reading really came from. I have just always loved books.
15. The first (and only) signed book I've ever received was As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes. My husband bought it for me for my birthday last year and I flipped the flip out.
16. I've only been to one midnight book release and it was for the last Harry Potter book. It was fun as hizell. I took my siblings, who were 12 and 14 at the time, and we were sorted into houses and got to play games and all that jazz.
17. I only read my first audio book last year. It's still a new thing for me. I don't have a lot of opportunity for audio books, what with having very loud children running around me at all times.
18. I used to read several books at once. I had a car book that was in the car, my bag book that I took everywhere, my book beside the bed that I read at night or when I first woke up in the morning. Now I have to chill out with all of that and I try to not be reading one book (on my own, not counting chapter books read aloud to my kids) at a time.
19. I have only read maybe 3 e-books. I should definitely invest in an e-reader of some sort because it would be great to not have SO MANY BOOKS but the honest truth is... I love physical copies of books. They are my drug of choice. I love having them on my shelves and feeling them and smelling them and generally being a creepy asshole with them.
20. I love book covers and I will 100% buy a book based on its cover. No shame.
21. I am still really sad that I didn't go to Hogwarts and I'm not a witch.
22. My top 5 favorite books read in the past year are- The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, Wonder by R.J.Palacio, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, The BFG by Roald Dahl, and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.
23. I spoiled the entire ending of The Hunger Games trilogy for my sister. I thought she had read the last book and let slip that whole big thing that happens (YOU KNOW) and... yeah. Whoops. I still feel awful, 4 years later.
24. I generally don't read the premise of a book other than like the basics. I don't like to read too much about what something is about because I like going into it with mystery. Plus I am SUPER weird about spoilers but after that thing with my sister can you blame me.
25. Dumbledore dying in HP was spoiled for me by an acquaintance. Had it been in person and not over the internet, heads would have been rolling.
26. I never watch the movie before reading the book. I think plenty of movies based on books are amazing. It's not that I am a prude about it. I just prefer reading and immersing myself in a story through books before watching it on the screen.
27. I almost always read a book before making a purchase. I'll usually borrow it from a friend or from the library and then add it to my 'to buy' list if I love it.
28. Exceptions to the above mostly involve series. If I know I enjoy a series I will usually buy the next book in it without reading it first.

And that's 20(ish) bookish facts you might not have known about me but now do.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Little Confessions

Welcome to another Confessional Thursday.

I confess....

I pretty much never get dressed. If there is a place to go I will put on pants,... but otherwise? Pajama day is every day. Sorry not sorry.

If it isn't pajama pants, it will always be leggings. ALWAYS. Do I even own a pair of jeans anymore?

I confess that I have neglected pretty much everything except my children for 2 days while I've finished Me Before You, which I became way more invested in than I thought I would. Despite it being what I found predictable, I really enjoyed it and there are few things as good as getting lost in a book.

This week I have drank nothing but lemonade. I blame the Spring like weather. It is warm and sunny and feels like the right kind of time for a tall glass of sour sweetness.

There is a giant stack of library books that just came in for us and I am overjoyed at the mere sight of it. I often find myself thinking 'I would much rather be reading' when I'm having to socialize. Good thing my kids and husband are also book nerds.

I confess that yesterday I started vacuuming under the couch cushions with our big shop vac and somehow this led to me vacuuming the cracks between the wooden floor slats... and it was the most satisfying thing I have done in a long time. Vacuuming is such an instant gratification sort of thing. Somehow that led to me washing walls so I think it's safe to say Spring cleaning is happening.

And that'll do for this round. Happy confession making!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2016 MMD Reading Challenge

I love a good reading list. Challenges are easily the best of the reading lists for me. No actual books to read but a list of categories to fill. Yes please. Modern Mrs. Darcy is one of my most favorite blogs and this is my first year partaking in the reading challenge but I am very excited about!

So far I have managed to check off-

A Book You Can Finish In A Day- 

I've actually managed to get through a few books in a day over the past 2 months but Tuck Everlasting was the OG. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is youthful, sweet, and will give you a big case of the feels. 

A Book You've Been Meaning To Read-

When I started using Goodreads back... 2ish years ago? This was one of the first books I put on my 'to read' list. I've always been intrigued by Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and indeed it proved to be a very intriguing read. It's one of those books with such a perfect cover, you know it has to be good. There are a few more books that I've crossed off my list this year. Divergent, The Selection, Tuck Everlasting. But this is the most memorable one, I think.

A Book Published Before You Were Born- 

Published in 1983, Heartburn by Nora Ephron fits the bill. It was kind of a flop for me. I enjoyed many aspects of it individually (the recipes shared, some plot elements) but together it didn't do much for me.

And that's 3 of 12. Something I have a hard time with is remembering to factor in challenge reads to my book buying/borrowing. I think a good step for me will be to actually make a list of the books I want to use to fill the categories so that I don't end up in December with 10 MMD books to read. I'll get cracking at that but it's not a bad start so far.

Happy reading!