Lately we’ve been…

Creating marble towers before church…

Making Marble Towers

Creating an entire code system for the alphabet and numbers up to 15:


Going to Cabela’s to look at tents and being amazed by all of the taxidermy animals they have there:

Cabela's(I mean, why are they fighting? Couldn’t they just as logically be eating a nice rabbit and some berries peacefully beside each other? Maybe they are arguing over who saw the fifty percent off hiking boots first.)

Making one of my two favorite dinner rolls:

Dinner Rolls

Making honey lime enchiladas for dinner (not to go with the rolls, but I mean why not?):

Honey Lime Enchiladas

Back to our system of me putting a bunch of books on hold at the library and then picking them up later in the week:

Books{J’s favorite has been I will Take a Nap!, A’s favorite is the Dinosaur Bones Encyclopedia, and I’m currently reading The Little Paris Bookstore and enjoying it so far}

And finally, playing hide and seek and eating snacks while waiting during A’s tennis lessons:

Tennis Lessons

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Library love

Library loveOne of the branches of our local library is still one of my favorite places to visit. It’s a bit smaller than our main library, however, it’s going to get much bigger in the next few years. It’s where the boys have gone to story time, learned the love of checking out and returning books, and always know their favorite librarian will be there to check in on what’s new with them. On one particular visit, I was discussing with our librarian how A is looking for some new series of books to read. She of course had a few ideas….

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What we’re reading…

Books to readFor me:

BooksI’m loving the Agatha Christie one so far, about to start the mystery stories, and I’m in total agreement with this post about Crazy Rich Asians. Oh and I had to quit The Clasp. I read about 150 pages and finally gave up after B convinced me to pick something else. I think he was tired of me rolling my eyes and sighing loudly in frustration about the language and story line of the book.

B is reading:

Books to readHe picked it out on a suggestion from a friend and is about half way through the book. So far, he’s really enjoying it. I was wondering if it would be similar to castaway…here I am sitting on a planet hanging out, talking to a volleyball, but B said it’s not.

A is reading so much I can hardly keep up, here are his current favorite series:

Books to readEach of these has at least 30 plus books in the series and several have super/extra editions. A has an on-going list of the ones he wants to read and I’m continually putting a stack on hold at the library to pick up on my way to work.

And here are some of J’s current favorite series:

Books to readJ has learned from A that if there is one book of a type that he likes, there are probably more. He will tell me “I want to find all the Pete the Cat books!” and I happily oblige working on creating a library list on Sundays and then picking them up later in the week.

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Notebook favorites

Part of my path to organization (and stopping the on going list from running constantly in my head when I’m trying to go to sleep) is keeping great notebooks around. Here are my favorite planner, list book, and recipe index:

Favorite notebooks[Recipe book] [Notebook] [Planner]

I love the notebook because it’s pretty, but also has wide lines for making lots of lists (before I create a typed copy to hand out to family members…cause I do that.):

Notebook ListMy favorite thing about the planner (besides the tabbed edges) is that it has both full month view and day by day conversions:

Planner PlannerWhich is helpful if I need to organize day by day appointments or activities, but also to put items on the list for months out planning.

After years of using this recipe folder:

Recipe folderI needed something that was not as clunky and was updated with recipes we don’t use. I love the Kate Spade recipe book because it’s cute:

Recipe BookBut also super functional:

Recipe bookSo I can stop being kicked out of Pinterest when I try to make bagels:

BagelsWhich makes recipe conversion to my new book much easier! Happy organizing, planning, and baking!

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On my nightstand…

Reading ListRead it, reading it, reading it next.

My Salinger Year is a terrific read if you ever read The Catcher in the Rye or any other book by J.D. Salinger. It is an intriguing look into the publishing and agent book industry and about Salinger and his fans. I was a bit bogged down with the author’s boyfriend in the book who was pretentious…I have to say I skimmed a lot of the sections he was in.

If you are intrigued by creative thinking, writing, drawing, anything Big Magic is great insight into the ideas surrounding creativity. I just started this book two days ago and I’m already half way through it. It’s a great read.

I grabbed The Clasp on a whim when I was picking up Big Magic because Mindy Kaling said EVERYONE was reading it. So I’m mainly going to see what all the hype is about.

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Summer Reading

Summer ReadingSince summer is already feeling like it’s flying by, I’ve gathered a shorter list of reads before the boys go back to school and I head back to work. Plus I still have plans to read The Girl on the Train, the book that continues to allude me in possibilities of checking out from the library. HA!

1. A recommended read from a blog that sounds insightful and intriguing.

2. Different from my normal book genres, this one combines a graphic novel quality to describe a girl’s adventure of taking her grandparents on vacation.

3. Hercule Poirot’s last case….how have I not read this yet?

4. A boy’s search to create power for his home and community before and after a famine in Malawi. I’m reading this right now and it is excellent.

5. I’m always looking for books to reference for my business class, and this one seems on mark.

6. And because B has said over and over “Since you’ve read Jurassic Park, you’ve got to read The Lost World.” Plus it’s fitting for this summer, right?

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Spring Reading Wrap-Up

Spring Reading ListMy Spring Reading plan was fairly successful. I read 7 of the 8 books on my list, though not for a lack of trying to read all 8. I’m still on the hold list for Girl on the Train at our local library, so when it comes in, I’ll be finishing up! I wasn’t sure if it was a book I’d read again, so I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

A few thoughts on my spring reading list…

1. Sasha Martin’s a Life from Scratch was my download to iPad book. I loved the story behind this book (and the blog), and I read the whole thing in three days. I have hopes for making many of the internationally inspired meals to make for my family.

2. The Monogram Murders was everything you hope from an Agatha Christie influenced book. It was a little hard handed at times in it’s characterization of Hercule Poirot, but it captured the essence of the “twist” that are in many of Christie’s books.

4. All the Light we Cannot See is a book that appears daunting at first (500 plus pages!), but was one of my very favorites that I read this spring. The picture that it portrays of two children’s experiences (on both sides) of WWII in Germany is as frightening as it is poignant.

5. Yes, Please was humorous and fun, however, I kind of wished I had waited until I could have checked it out at the library. While I enjoyed reading it, it’s not one that I think I will read again. I’m planning to send it on to our family circle of reading.

6. Turn Right at Machu Picchu was my favorite of my spring reading. It’s very well written and thoughtfully weaves the author’s journey with the history of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail.

7. Wild was good, but I have to admit there were times where I began to skim through the back story. I really enjoyed the stories from when she was on the trail, however, a lot of the back story is redundant at times, and I kept waiting for the author to stop making the same mistakes.

8. Jurassic Park, the book B convinced me I needed to read, was really fun. It also makes you realize how different the movie is from the book. Take away the “kind old man who just wants to make a Flinestone-esque theme park” and you’ve got a much darker and twisted tale.

And that’s it! I’ll be featuring my summer reads soon! I’ve got a short turn around this time, so I better start reading!

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Spring Reading

I’m not confident that I can complete all of these before the start of summer, but I’m going to try! I have until June, right?? The attempt to clean off my ever crowded nightstand is good motivation. Here’s my choices and a few thoughts about them.

Spring Reading ListBooks 4, 6, & 7 are all Costco picks. My Mom, sister, and I frequently pick up stacks of books from Costco and then pass them around as we read them. My Mom has already read 6 & 7, however, I’m way behind and only about half-way through book 4. In my defense it’s about 600 pages. While seemingly all different, they each share a common bond in that they are about a “journey” and create a distinct sense of place.

Book 1: I’m always excited when I find a new foodie book that combines recipes with memoir, and this one is available not only through print, but also at a great price digitally.

Books 2 & 3: You all know I’m a sucker for anything Agatha Christie, and The Girl on a Train is recommended by Gillian Flynn (the author of Gone Girl), and is supposed to include a lot of great twists and surprises.

Book 5: After trying for months to check out Yes, Please from the library (it’s on hold beyond hold) I gave up and bought it. It’s been a great in between read for a break from All the Light We Cannot See.

Book 8: If you didn’t know this there is a new Jurassic Park movie coming out this summer, and B is insisting that I actually read the first book in anticipation of the new movie (that is not based on any of the books by the way…but that’s B’s best persuasive appeal).

Spring reading list, check! If there’s anything you think I missed, let me know! Happy Wednesday!

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