Category Archives: books


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Let’s see… I finished The Martian and despite it being a little slow at times, it was still a really good read.  There’s humor and wit, and while I’m not an expert at all when it comes to space travel or engineering it’s informative and doesn’t leave you feeling completely confused.  Right now I’m reading a couple of books including Outlander, which I figured I should read due to its popularity.  I’m not very far into it, but so far I like the writing and while I’m not a historian, I think it probably paints a decent picture of 18th century Scotland.


I’ve actually been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.  I never got into it before, but I like having it on in the background and have been wondering why on earth I didn’t watch it when it was on the air!  Oh yeah, there was a lack of cable for a while there pre-Hulu days, and I’m not one to start watching a series if I’ve missed the first season or more.  I’m also really excited about Showtime on Hulu now.  Hooray!  I finally get to see some shows I’ve been wanting to.  Josh and I also started watching Supernatural together. I had started watching the first season ages ago, but now we’re starting from the beginning and it looks like that will be our new show.  It’s fun… cheesy at times, but fun.

As for movies… yeah, we really haven’t been watching that many lately.  There’s been a lot going on.

Health and Wellness

The Fitbit continues to be a great motivator and I feel better the more I walk and exercise, so that in itself is a great motivator.  I also haven’t had hives since the last “Currently” so I’m incredibly thrilled about that.


I’m kind of obsessed with popcorn right now.  I could eat it every day, and sometimes I do.  The Pop Secret with Sea Salt is my favorite right now.  We’re in a rut in terms of meal planning and dinners, though… anyone have any tips or ideas to motivate me again?  I’m stoked to try Blue Apron – it’s finally delivering to our area, so maybe that will help.


The weather – overall this has been one of the mildest summers we’ve had since moving to Minnesota, and even though it was a little disconcerting to be in the low 60s the other day, we’re making the most of what warm days we have left.  We’re headed to opening weekend of the Renaissance Festival tomorrow and I’m hoping the rain actually holds off until late afternoon.  We haven’t gone to the festival since we first moved here, but I remember it being fun and hope the kids think so too.

Thinking About

Everything and then often nothing at all.  We’ve been struggling with Enzo at bedtime and I have no idea why.  He says he isn’t tired at his usual bedtime, but the past few nights he has been fighting us and his bedtime and then wakes up tired and cranky due to lack of sleep.  Kind of at my wit’s end.  Granted, we went through this before, but Phoebe is a much lighter sleeper now so when he starts yelling and screaming because he doesn’t want to stay in his room, she wakes back up.  Have I mentioned what an easy sleeper she is?  She willingly lies down in her crib, waits for me to cover her with her blanket and then tells me good-night. She’s typically out in 10 minutes.  I am so grateful we have at least one kid who doesn’t fight bedtime right now.  Parenting has been a struggle lately, that’s for sure.  I know his potty training regression is probably due to getting rid of his nuk, but his sleep was fine at first… now I’m not sure if this is also a result of him giving up his nuk???  Fingers crossed we can find a way to win at bedtime again.

Oh, the places you’ll go…

I love how much our kids love books now, but I’m even more excited for when they can start reading themselves and we can start experiencing even more adventures together.  While both kids tend to favor the same stories over and over again, Enzo is thankfully at an age where we don’t always have to read the same books every night like someone else I know (cough cough *Phoebe* cough cough).  I do get how important repetition is, but there are some days when I’d rather cry then read ‘Elmo Says Achoo’ or “Potty” one more time.  Admittedly, it is pretty cute that she is starting to memorize them, so she reads along with me.


Many of my childhood memories include books and thankfully I’ve save some of our childhood favorites for when Enzo and Phoebe are older.  Granted many of the spines are fragile and it might be better to get new copies in order for the originals to remain intact, but I’d like to at least once pull out the books that I held when I was their age and hopefully read them together.  Granted, they may not think they’re as great as I thought they were, but you never know.


As a shy introvert, I could always count on my books for quiet company.  My friends were Laura Ingalls, Anne Shirley and Jo March.  Curling up with a good book will always be one of my favorite things to do and I can’t help but picture at least one or both of my munchkins quietly curled up next to me caught up in their own adventure.


One thing I can promise is that we will always have a decent selection of reading material, and while nothing will ever compare to physically holding a book in my hands, I confess that having an e-reader is incredibly handy. I can take as many books as I want to wherever I go for all of us, and they take up a lot less space and are much lighter when it comes to moving… and anyone who has ever helped us move will be glad to know I’ve cut back a lot on buying physical books. Ha ha.


The Interestings – Book Review


Where to begin? The Interestings took me a little while to get through, but I enjoyed it.  While, it wasn’t a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat or even demands that you pick it up every day, I was okay with that. It’s not that it was dull by any means, either.  How do I explain it… the book takes place over 30-40 years and the story sort of reflects that.  Life isn’t always exciting, but it meanders along with ups and downs and twists and turns here and there, and the flow of the book definitely imitated that.  It was fitting and also satisfying.

The story follows the lives of 6 teens who meet at a summer camp for the artistically inclined and manage to maintain their friendship through adulthood. While there isn’t much of a plot, I found myself caught up in the characters and wondering where life would take them. I have nothing in common with any of the characters, but appreciated the way in which Wolitzer makes them feel realistic. The main character Jules could be a tad exasperating at times with her constant envy of her friends who have lots of money and whose artistic careers flourished while she wallows. It was hard to get past her whining, at times, but even she managed to have a few redeeming qualities.

One of the aspects I really enjoyed is that the story starts out in the mid-1970s in New York and Wolitzer does such a great job using words to place you in that time and place. Wolitzer’s writing is descriptive, sometimes poetic, and sometimes harsh. I had no trouble picturing the characters and places in my mind and despite the pacing, found myself picking it up day after day and slowly devouring it.  I wanted to know what happened to the characters and just when I’d think I’d be disappointed because of how other writers have handled situations in other stories, I’d be pleasantly surprised that Wolitzer chose not to do the same. I feel like the way she handled her character’s emotions reflected better on how people in the real world might react… people who aren’t actually all that interesting.

I found myself thoughtful throughout the book and sometimes nostalgic for my own childhood, much like Jules.  Despite passing time, all of the characters reflect often on their experience at camp and one takeaway is just how important it is to stop looking backwards and look ahead.  Nostalgia is just one of many themes along with friendship, love, jealousy, sexuality, art, deceit, and mental illness, all of which Wolitzer writes well. This may have been my first of her novels, but it will not be last.

What the kiddos are reading…

It’s no surprise that the kiddos are big readers… not to me anyway.  They’ve been surrounded by books since birth and we’ve always tried to make reading something fun to do.  Books are a part of our bedtime routine, but the kids often ask to be read to throughout the day as well.


As with so many other things they’ll get hooked on one or two books for a few weeks and then switch things up again.  There are definitely those few favorites that stick around, however.  Sandra Boynton is a favorite of most toddlers, I think, and both kids have loved her books.


One of Phoebe’s favorites (since birth) is this classic, though.


We both love the illustrations and the story introduces the seasons.


I got this book for Phoebe because I loved the illustrations as well, and it’s become one of her new favorites too.



Enzo, on the other hand has been enjoying a lot of Little Critter lately as well as a variety of other books.  One of his surprising favorites to carry around, however, is the first How to Train Your Dragon books.  It’s far too long for him to sit through in one sitting and is a bit above his age range, but he loves to pretend to read it himself, as well as other big books.


I can’t even tell you how excited I am to slowly introduce the kids to more and more books as they get older.  I can’t wait to watch them go on new adventures as they turn the pages and to share old favorites with them.


Eleanor and Park – Review


My reading has slowed down a tad due to various things popping up, but I thought I’d share my thoughts on ‘Eleanor and Park’ by Rainbow Rowell, which I finished reading not too long ago. You may have heard the name due its growing popularity, and honestly it’s for good reason. I typically don’t read a lot of YA fiction, but after reading many reviews I thought it might be worth the time.  I don’t have anything against YA fiction, but (and this is a huge generalization considering I haven’t read much… since I was a teen) so often the dialogue and story feel “dumbed down” for younger readers.  I think I’ve just read too many YA novels wherein the dialogue didn’t feel real and the writing itself seemed to be missing depth.  This was not the case with ‘Eleanor and Park.’

I really enjoyed Rowell’s writing style and felt the interactions and dialogue between the characters was fairly realistic.  Eleanor and Park get off to a rocky start, but end of forming an unlikely friendship, which in turn becomes an even more unlikely romance.  Both are somewhat outcasts, though Eleanor so much more. While I couldn’t necessarily relate to either character in full, there were definitely moments that transported me back to high school (unfortunately).  I wasn’t sure what to expect when I turned the first pages, but if you’re hoping for something light-hearted and happy, this isn’t really it.

I think Rowell accurately captures the awkwardness of being a teenager and the heartache of young love.  On the one hand I felt their emotions towards each other switched rather hastily (and in reality this relationship as well as others in the book would have been improbable), but the part of me that cheers for the outcasts and losers liked that these two teenagers found each other, especially Eleanor.  While at times Eleanor was so exasperating to me, I did feel bad for her character and the extremely dysfunctional background she came from. You can’t really blame her for her extreme lack of self-confidence and cynicism.

This book isn’t perfect by any means, but I did feel it captured many teenage emotions accurately as well as the fact that teenagers can be a tad frustrating and selfish at times (I was a teenager once, so I can say this). I’m not an expert in terms of racism or what Ohio was like in the mid 80’s, but I have a feeling that some portrayals of racism or the lack thereof, are somewhat inaccurate and sort of brushed over.  The ending was also somewhat anticlimactic and open-ended, which was somewhat annoying because it would have been nice to see certain storylines wrapped up.  Even with the little things I didn’t like, I couldn’t help but keep reading.  I got sucked in and that’s always a good sign.