Monday, July 22, 2019

Up North Weekend


Friday afternoon the Mr. and I headed up to our favorite northern Michigan town, Frankfort.  We’ve only ever spent just a couple of hours here, but this time we were spending the night.  We got there around 2:30 and were able to check in to our hotel right then, which was great, because we got one of the last parking spots in the lot, and did not have to worry about street parking!  We stayed at The Hotel Frankfort, which was conveniently located 3 blocks from the public beach and right next door to one of our favorite breweries, Stormcloud!

We took our stuff up to the room and then went to the hotel bar for a late lunch.  We shared their GLT, which is a take on the classic BLT.  It had guacamole, lettuce, tomato and we apparently got the bacon added on, which is an additional charge, but was still good.  My husband got to partake in the Ludington BayBrewing Company tasting they had going on and enjoyed the four he tried.  His favorite was the Tangelo Dream.  I had a sip, and agree it was delicious!  I had a strawberry lemonade, which was also yummy.

After our lunch we decided to walk around Main Street before we hit the beach.  We went through a few touristy shops and hit up the local bookstore.  Then my pregnant self was feeling the heat so we went back to the hotel for a bit and then headed to the beach.

We put our chairs right on the edge of the water because for once, Lake Michigan waves were not huge, which we hear was NOT the case down south.  So we sat with our feet in the water with a few dips to cool off until almost 9pm.  We were going to stay for sunset but we witnessed sunset around 8:15 when the sun went into a cloudy haze.

first we sat further back, but then we decided we watched our toes in the water!




We headed back to the hotel and washed off and hit up Stormcloud for dinner.  They had live music and we got the last table outside.  We shared the Stormchos (pulled pork nachos) and the Stormgarden (flat bread with arugula, tomatoes, mushrooms and mozzarella).  The Stormchos are literally my favorite pulled pork nachos anywhere, but they just did not live up to my previous experiences.  Which was sad because I was literally looking forward to them for months.
After dinner we went back to our room and read and watched TV before crashing.

Saturday we were up early and hit up the very light breakfast the hotel had set out.  I just had a yogurt and a cup of coffee.  My husband had coffee and raisin toast.  We MEANT to go to the farmers market and then completely forgot.  We grabbed coffees to go and had a relaxing morning of reading before we got ready to head to Traverse City.



Our first stop was the Point Betsie Lighthouse, which we had tried to stop at a few years ago with the kiddo but it was insanely busy and packed that day.  We got there just as it was opening and walked around the grounds.  We got a postcard to add to our postcard collection at home but did not pay for the lighthouse tour.


Then we headed up to Traverse City where we had lunch on the top floor of the Grand Traverse Resort.  The food was delicious.  We had salad, potatoes, green beans, cherry chicken, and a mushroom beef.  The mushroom crusted on the beef was the best part of the beef.  I am not a fan of mixing cherries with chicken ha.  The dessert was amazing.

After lunch, we walked around the resort and went into a few shops.  The weather was very cloudy and looked like rain so we decided not to hit up the private beach club.  We did head out to Torch Lake and visit some friends who had recently moved from the river to the lake. Such a gorgeous lake and a beautiful home.  Their view is amazing!

We headed back to the resort about 4:30 and checked into our room.  I read, he napped, and then we decided to go to one of our favorite Traverse City restaurants, Red Mesa Grill, for some dips.  We had a huge lunch and didn’t want a ton, so we split guacamole and queso.  Plus, the salsa/chips on the table.  We may have overdosed on chips!

We were going to stop at get fudge on our way back but it had just closed, so magically we made it out of the weekend with no dessert.

Back at the resort, we walked around and took a look at the pool/spa area and then decided to just relax.  He watched a movie on the moon landing and I read my book.

Sunday we hit up Meijer in TC to check out the booze (ha!).  I got a bottle chardonnay from a local winery that I enjoy and he got some local beer.  We also picked up some local cherries and donuts for breakfast.

It was a very relaxing, fun weekend.  It was nice to be up in our favorite area and really have no plans but to just do what we wanted! 

What’s your favorite local to your vacation area?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

5 Bookish Things I'm Loving Right Now

This is my second installment of  Five Bookish Things I'm Loving.  The first one can be found here. 

1. I read this article about giving a book instead of a card for a kid's birthday.  I do this frequently for baby showers.  And a book is usually part of every kid's gift I already give.  I might as well just utilize the book as the card. :)  For the most part I have my 8 year old artist make the cards around here, but I really like this idea of personalizing a card for every birthday.

2. I love Mighty Girls.  I follow them on facebook and I have found out many historical facts about women that I didn't know before and have gotten introduced to a ton of books/games/toys that I wouldn't have stumbled upon without their assistance.

The article 100 Mighty Girl Books for Tween's Summer Reading List, had a lot of good books!

A Dash of Trouble by Anne Meriano is the first in a newish series that looks like something I'd want to check out!

"Leonora's mother, aunt, and older sisters run the best bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, and Leonora wants to help prepare for Dia de los Muertos — but once again, they tell her she's too young. One day, when Leo sneaks down to the bakery, she learns why: they are all brujas, witches of Mexican ancestry, and they bake a little delicious magic into every bite! Leo's sure she's old enough to learn magic too, so when her best friend has a problem, she decides to dig into the family recipe book. But Leo doesn't read Spanish, so deciphering the recipes isn't easy... and when things go awry, Leo learns that her family will support her but she has to fix her own mistakes! This charming story effortlessly weaves together Mexican, Texan, and American cultures and adds a dash of mystery and magic to delightful effect."


One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia is on my shelf and I'm hoping to do a read aloud with my kiddo this summer, or read it by myself!

"Delphine may only be eleven, but she's used to caring for her sisters, Vonetta and Fern, since her mother left seven years ago for California. But the summer of 1968 is going to be different: their father is sending all three girls to visit Cecile in Oakland. They're expecting family trips to Disneyland to meet Tinkerbell; instead, Cecile sends them to youth programs at a Black Panther center and tells them to stay out as long as they can while she writes her poetry. They may not be getting the maternal experience they expected, but over one crazy summer, they'll learn a lot about their family, their country, and themselves. "


3.

so true!!!

4.
I feel this problem in my soul!!! I love having books all around me.


5. I finished my reading goal in July!!! So this is the second year where I finished my goal months ahead of schedule.  So perhaps I need to increase my goal.  However, I've also had many years where things have come up and I have not made it.  So maybe until I can verify what reading with two children will be like I shall keep my 52 books in a year goal!



My favorites from January were Becoming by Michelle Obama and Ohio by Stephen Markley.


February's favorite was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!


March's favorite was The Dry by Jane Harper.



April's favorite was probably Knit Two.


May's favorite was The Nick Adam's Stories by Hemingway.


June's favorites were The Stolen Marriage and Crazy Rich Asians.  I also really enjoyed The Sandcastle Girls.

So far in July I've read 9 books and my current favorite is The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth, 

If I was to pick out of these 52 which to recommend off the top of my head I would say Becoming, Ohio, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Dry, The Nick Adams Stories, and The Mother-in-Law.

What bookish things are you loving right now?


Friday, July 12, 2019

TGIF!


I've hit the point in the summer where I am completely confused on days of the week and without my phone calendar beeping at me, I may forget where I'm going.  This could also be related to the fact that I am 28 weeks pregnant.  Technically, 29 tomorrow.  And holy crap, I have so much to do on that front.  Still need to figure out a stroller and car seat.  Still need a dresser.  Ahhh.  I'm kind of in denial.  I have to refresh my mind on breastfeeding, I need diapers/wipes.  And a curtain rod and curtains.  Our house is being painted the week of August 20th so I feel kind of in limbo until then.  We are not putting carpet in the bedrooms now because of darn asbestos, but carpet will be put in the living room and on our stairs leading to the basement in early September.  Ahhhh.  Okay, back to denial...



My favorite picture from the week:  



The high of my week was having a ‘girls day’ with my mom and kiddo.  We went to an outlet mall, did some school shopping for the 8 year old, newborn sleeper shopping for the newbie, out to lunch, then back to my parents house and the kiddo swam for a bit.

The low of my week was the stupid exhaustion I get at the end of some days after not doing a ton.  My legs get all restless and I can’t sit in a spot for a long time.  I think a lot has to do with the amount of water I drink.  I feel like I’m drinking a lot but apparently I’m not.  I hardly drink anything non-water unless I start my day with coffee since I am back on the coffee train after a few months where it grossed me out!

The book I’m reading is I just started Oh Say Can You Fudge by Nancy Coco.  It’s the third book in the Fudge series that I’ve been reading. I love that the series is set on Mackinac Island.  I have started liking cozy mysteries in the last year or two, I just learned that I can’t read a ton of the same series back to back because I catch discrepancies and/or the writing can sometimes leave some wanting.  I caught up on the Women’s Murder Club, 18th Abduction.  I like that series, but I have the opposite problem of the cozy mysteries.  It’s so long since the last one, I can barely remember what it was about, and the book descriptions do not help! I have a huge stack from the library right now too.  I’m trying to catch up a little on the Louise Penny series, but apparently so is everyone else at my library! So I’m slowly pecking away when the books become available.  I’ve read some out of order so that helps a bit.  I’m also excited to pick up Mistress at the Ritz soon, as I was lucky enough to find that on the shelf at my library yesterday!



The best money I spent was the clothes shopping I did on Tuesday! I got 3 newborn sleepers, 1 3 month fleece sleeper, and a 12-18 month summer dress for the newbie.  I got all but the dress at the Carter’s Outlet and the dress at Old Navy.  Then Posh Peanut had a sale and I got the changing pad cover that matches the crib sheet, hair bow, and swaddle blanket I had already purchased when that was on sale a couple months ago.  I also got 2 dresses and a pair of leggings to add to the fall school wardrobe for the soon to be 3rd grader from Old Navy.  I already picked up new Nike tennis shoes for her on a super good sale back in March.  And I got some stuff at Kohls/Marshalls/Target on clearance already.  I for sure want to get her 3 more pairs of leggings but that I may hold off on until the weather is cooler since she is a growing kid.  Side note: I took her for her 8 year old well check yesterday and she is 4 feet 3 inches.  Only a foot shorter than me! She also clocks in at 57 pounds.  She has maintained her 50th percentile for weight and 75th for height for the past 8 years.  I do need to try to get her more calcium and may end up with supplements because she doesn’t really care much for milk and neither do I so I completely get it! She also isn’t a huge yogurt fan (again, I get it) and cheese and broccoli all the time may not be good for the tummy hahaha!



My plans this weekend include this is a rare weekend where we do not have concrete plans.  I have a hair appointment today.  We really should do work around the house.  We may end up at a lake, or having a pool day.  I do need to spend time planning out a meal plan for our next camping trip because it will happen quickly after the husband and I come back from a couple days away in Frankfort/Traverse City.  We may end up attending the Eat Great Food Festival that is in town for women’s golf tournament that is town next week.  It’s kind of pricey at 40 dollars a ticket, especially since I can’t get the alcohol samples.  However it is 4 hours long and the amount of vendors/types of food are enticing.  Plus, the kiddo is free.  So, 80 bucks for the 3 of us to indulge may be on our agenda!

What was the high of your week? What are you reading?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Currently

Reading:  Surprise Island by Gertrude Warner, The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth, and Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson.  I'm enjoying all of them!

Loving:  we finally have summer weather! 80s and humid! Not that I'm enjoying it much this year in my pregnant condition, but I am savoring it as much as possible.  Because we all know the long dreaded winter is soon coming!



Feeling: overwhelmed with what we need to do for this new child.  I really just need my husband to do what I asked him to do and get the room cleared of office stuff because that will make me feel better.  Oh and for my husband to get the stroller out for me to look at (asked this in April).  We also need a carseat.  And I need to remember what stuff I need around the house when you have a newborn.  

Anticipating: the 4th of July! Hopefully thunderstorms will stay away and we will be able to enjoy a day on the lake and a night of fireworks.  It's my favorite holiday.

Grateful: that I have a kind and caring kid who is so go with the flow and can be so chill.



Working: on still clearing out the office/new child's bedroom.  I really need to make some progress in there.  We are having our house painted on August 20th and then new flooring so I would ideally like everything done way before August 20th!
  Listening: to lots of podcasts! I'm so far behind.  I'm currently catching up on past Pod Save America episodes.

Watching: I don't remember when I watched tv last.  I think I have a few Southern Charm's to catch up on!

Wishing: for a personal chef and errand runner!

What are you reading and listening to currently?

Monday, July 1, 2019

June Reads!

Half of 2019 has gone by and with it, I've completed 42 books! In June I read 9 books.  I really enjoyed the majority of the books I read.  I started a book mid-month that I abandoned for awhile, I may go back to it, but it just wasn't what I wanted at the moment and instead I picked up 3 books in the Fudge series by Nancy Coco that is set on Mackinac Island.  I read one of the books last October, and decided it was just what I needed.


The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond was a book that took me awhile to get into and is Bond's debut novel.  I think there was a lot of things going on and it was just okay for me.  It was good in a mystery sense, but I just wasn't feeling it.

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder was a book that was put together after Ms. Wilder had passed away.  It doesn't read like the others in the series and is very short.  They only fixed spelling and some grammar issues from my understanding.  So it's kind of written more towards an older audience than the younger audience the rest of the series is aimed at. 

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian was a very good book.  It switched perspectives a lot.  I also think it could have used a different title.  However, it's a story of 1915 Syria and the Armenian genocide that occurred. I do recommend this, but it is not a light read at all!

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan was hysterical.  I loved it.  I really could see how this easily became a movie and I'm actually contemplating trying to see it this summer.  It's kind of lengthy but it reads super fast.

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner was one of my favorite books as a child.  I loved this series! My kiddo got a boxed set of the first four or five books and we decided we'd read this one together.  She loved it.  We read it in like 2 hours.  We also found out there are now Boxcar movies??? We watched the second one on Amazon Prime.  We also immediately started reading the second in the series but I think I am going to encourage her to do the rest on her own!

All Fudged Up by Nancy Coco is the first in a series set on Mackinac Island.  These books can definitely be read out of order and I had already read one of them months ago.  Allie McMurphy inherits the family hotel from her Grandpa Liam and is trying to renovate and get ready for the season on the island when she finds a dead body.  Of course she becomes a suspect and she of course has to clear her name.  I loved the setting of Mackinac Island and how quick and fun this book was.  Plus, I love the fudge recipes included!

To Fudge or Not to Fudge by Nancy Coco is the second book in the series and this time Allie's dog finds bones of a dead body and she is part of another murder investigation on the Island.  This happens during the Island's Lilac Festival and included more yummy fudge recipes.

Oh, Fudge by Nancy Coco is actually the fifth book in the series but my library didn't have 3 or 4 so I just grabbed this one.  Like I said, you don't really need them in order.  Once again Allie finds a dead body, but this time she finds her cousin standing over the body and her cousin becomes the suspect.



The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain is set in 1944.  Tess DeMello finds herself pregnant with not her fiances baby and runs away to North Carolina and marries the father of her child.  Tragedy and heartbreak follow an interesting look at marriage and life in the 1940s.  I don't want to say much because there are a few spoilers that were well placed and made this an engaging read. 

I've definitely read a lot of interesting books in the first half of the year.  The one book that stands out as my OMG you must read this too book is Becoming by Michelle Obama. So so so good.



Right now I'm reading Father's Day by Simon Van Booy and Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson. 

What did you read in June? What one book of June would you recommend? How are you doing on your yearly reading goal?

Monday, June 24, 2019

Library Haul

I popped into the library for a super quick solo trip today and came out with three books.  I almost also grabbed Where the Crawdads Sing but I wasn't sure I'd be able to get it back before it was due (7 day check out). 


I've been on a cozy mystery kick lately.  I really liked the Amanda Flower books I read last winter so I picked up the first books in 2 of her other series.  I have another book of hers in transit from another library.  I was listening to the podcast What Should I Read Next, and heard The Mother - In -Law being promoted and saw it on the New Releases shelf and grabbed it on my way out!

I'm finishing up Oh, Fudge by Nancy Coco and I still have Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson from the library too.  I'm trying to figure out what books to take with me to the library this weekend.  I'm going to need a few books.  Not sure if I will take all library books or a mix of what I have.

Some other options I have on my shelf already, Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Madonna's of Leningrad by Debra Dean, or War Brides by Helen Bryan.  Or god knows I may come across another book on my shelf between now and then that sounds good.

What should I read next? Also, what should I take to the beach? And what have you recently checked out of the library?

Friday, June 14, 2019

TGIF!

We've survived our first week of summer vacation with a full week of activity! Monday we spent a gift card at Claires, got a hair cut, out to lunch, library, doc appt, and lots of organizing.  I was on the couch at 3:41 moaning I was so tired ha.  Tuesday she had a friend over for 6 hours and a softball game.  Wednesday we met a friend at a park, went out to lunch, went grocery shopping and she had another softball game.  Thursday went to the library to collect some reading prizes and a friend came to play for a few hours.  She went out to dinner with her grandma and my husband brought home Pad Thai for me! Today she has plans to go to a friends end of the year party and I'm going to Aldi and the local liquor store to get my dad a father's day present.

My favorite picture from the week:  



playing first base in her last game.  She made an awesome out! 

The high of my week was that we had a great week together.  We revisited how to play Phase 10 and got a lot of cleaning / organizing done and had fun.  Next week isn't so exhaustive, but we do have swim 5 days, summer softball league, attending a minor league game, and a library trip planned.

The low of my week was just looking at the work I need to accomplish in our office/new kid room.  I really need a cheerleader or someone to just throw out all the crap in my desk so I don't have to try to decide if I need it or not.  

The book I’m reading is I am just starting Rush by Lisa Patton.  I read Crazy Rich Asians this week and it was hilarious! I really want to see the movie now.




The best money I spent was the donuts the baby wanted. :)

My plans this weekend include absolutely nothing.  We have nothing concrete planned.  So hopefully something will pop up.  And maybe it will stop raining.  We planted our garden just over 3 weeks ago now and we STILL haven't needed to water it.

What was the high of your week? What are you reading?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Summer Vacation Library Haul 1

Yesterday, we had about an hour to spare in our errands and dropped in at the library.  The kiddo ONLY had 3 books left and had finished one in the car as we drove around.  So we stocked up.  11 books for her and one for me later, we were happy customers!


The first book the kiddo dove into was the 2nd book in the Dork Diaries.  They apparently are a hot item at our local library because she read the first in the series almost 2 months ago and this was the first time I found the 2nd one on the shelves!


I picked up Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.  I've heard a lot of good things about it, and figured it would be a good kick off to summer.  I should be starting it today because I finished The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjahlian last night.  Highly recommend!


She was very excited to get the second book in the Zita series.  She actually started writing her own comic after she read the first one a couple weeks ago.  She also was excited to see books about Spirit.  She has been loving the Lola Levine series and I sadly think she is almost done with it.  She got books 2 and 3 in the Never Girl series because she read the first in the series last week.


She is also working her way through the Arthur Chapter Book series and decided to try out the Candy Apple series.  She also grabbed the next Piper Green series.

She has her own goodreads account that we started this year and she has read 101 books.  She adjusted her goal to 180 but I'm pretty sure she will blow that goal out of the water.

We finished The First Four Years in the Little house series and have just begun A Little House Sampler.  We think we will read On the Way Home next and depending on if there is another Little House ish book we may read that or have agreed that Charlotte's Webb will be our next family read aloud.

As you can tell, my kiddo is obsessed with series as much as I am.  I am hoping to get her started on some Boxcar Children and Ramona books this summer. 

What books would you recommend to the 8 year old? What was your recent library haul? Any summer suggestions for me?

Friday, June 7, 2019

TGIF!

Whew! Today is the last day of school for my kiddo! I'd been doing pretty good about the whole getting older and being done and just being excited thing until a fellow mom who is also pregnant mentioned our kids were half-way done with elementary school.  And then I became crazy pants.  Me with pregnancy hormones is not my finest hour.  I am not an emotional/crying person but pregnant me is.  And I CANNOT CONTROL IT.  Eeek.  Watch out world!

My favorite picture from the week:  



First Day vs Last Day! 

The high of my week was so many fun things! I volunteered for Field Day, End of the Year Party, and I had a very fun breakfast with a friend today.  I also have a very fun filled first week of vacation planned for us.  I am trying to fill up our days with some fun stuff ahead of time since summer gets so crazy for everyone.



The low of my week was I lost a picture I had in my pocket to give my mom and it seriously has to be in either my hall closet or my car.  I think at least.  But so annoying, because I have to print it out again.

The book I’m reading is Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bojahlian.  I just started it but it's set in 1915 Syria when an American young woman travels there to help Armenians who have been persecuted and she meets a young Armenian and falls in love.  

The best money I spent was I bought myself two new shirts and the kiddo a new dress!

My plans this weekend include hitting up the library summer reading kick off, a funeral, food truck festival, and lazy times!

What was the high of your week? What are you reading?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

5 Bookish Things I'm Loving Right Now

I decided that I needed to start a monthly ish post about book related things that I'm currently loving, because every now and then I have an itty bitty thing I want to share but not worthy of a full post.  So ta da! Here we go!

1,

I picked up this book from Amazon after it was shared in a group I'm in.  This is written by a 10 year old girl, her mom, and her grandma.  It is a great diverse girl centric book.  I love that "Don't Call Me Tomboy," is the repeating refrain.  I was always referred to as a tomboy growing up, but let's be real.  I was a girl who liked what I liked but to some people that meant that I liked "boy things".  I have so many issues with "girly girls" and "tomboys."  It's just divisive language to separate women.  Like and be what you want.  Always.  You can pick up the book on amazon

2.  

This lovely bookmark that I got for a birthday present! I about died laughing when I was using this on a 500 page book while laying in bed! It definitely was a workout!

3. This article on Feminist Fairytales found on Book Riot.  Of the books mentioned I've read The Three Ninja Pigs and Lon Po Po and I too, would recommend them! I am interested in checking out the Prince and Knight.

As a kid, I didn't really like fairy tales and as an adult I think it was because so many of them made the girl helpless and the boy the hero.  I can be my own hero, thank you very much! I don't need no stinkin' boys! :) I'm excited to add some more diverse fairy tales and other books to our bookshelves as I get new younger board books for the youngest child.  

4. The Huffington Post shared an article on the 17 LGBTQ Friendly Books to Read to Your Kid in Honor of Pride Month.    The article shares books for young readers that include diverse characters some are nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and teach about different types of families.

One book that I want to check out is Donovan's Big Day, which is a picture book about a young boy who is excited to be a ring bear in a wedding ---- his two moms!

Another one is George by Alex Gino which says it is about a girl named Melissa who the world sees as a boy named George.  



5.  I read an article by PBS entitled, "Why Reading Aloud to Kids Helps Them Thrive".  I've been reading aloud to my kiddo since she was born.  Obviously, anyone whose had a baby knows they don't pay attention to things for long, but that didn't stop us from reading books.  I'd hold her in my lap and read.  I'd sit on the floor next to her while she was playing and read from books.  I'd point out pictures.  I'd read my own books around her.  And she started her life with tons of books from loved ones.  This next child has fewer board books than the first one does because I donated, passed on to little free libraries or they are my moms.  Or some sadly had to get thrown away because of a few too many teeth marks.  The point? Reading to babies is not perfect.  It's just important!!

This paragraph stood out to me from the article...

"Reading aloud to kids has clear cognitive benefits. For example, brain scans show that hearing stories strengthens the part of the brain associated with visual imagery, story comprehension, and word meaning. One study found that kindergarten children who were read to at least three times a week had a “significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often.” And the landmark Becoming a Nation of Readers report from 1985 concluded that “the single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

We still do read alouds.  Sometimes my daughter and I read a book together and take turns reading.  Sometimes we just snuggle up in my bed with a pile of picture books and I read to her.  Or we attempt to do a daily family read aloud as we go through the Little House series.  As she's gotten more confident in her reading, she wants more and more of the control of reading aloud.  Even though for the most part she'd prefer to read to herself.

One thing I want to stress is that we do not normally do books before bed.  I know most people do.  We read earlier in the day.  When we do the family read alouds that is sometimes right before bed, but it happens in the living room, and sometimes she still has to do her night time routine.  Sometimes we do it in the morning.  But books just aren't a part of our bed time routine and we manage to read all the time.  So do not feel bad if you don't have time at the end of the day.  Heck, my kid reads for over 20 minutes every day in the car, plus whatever she wants to read.  Just make the books accessible!

What are some bookish things that you are loving right now?