What I’m Reading: September 2017 Book Recommendations

You know that saying “The days are long, but the years are short?” That sums up my summer. The individual days dragged on at times, but the months flew by. All of a sudden, the kids are back in school. Since my last book post was in June, I have a slew of good book recommendations to share today. It always feels like I read more fiction during the summer, and this year was no exception.

Here are some of my recent fiction book recommendations, whether you're looking for tense thrillers or novels that sweep you away.

What I’ve Been Reading

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This novel set in WWII Europe has been on my TBR list for umm… years. I actually checked it out from the library a few times and simply didn’t get into it. Finally I got over the hump and then I was hooked. Marie Laure is a teenage blind girl in German-occupied France. Werner is an orphaned German boy whose gift for engineering takes him to a prestigious school that trains Nazi soldiers. The story is unique and opened my eyes to elements of WWII that I had never really considered. The writing is beautiful, and the story is compelling. I highly recommend it. read more

What I’m Reading: June 2017 Book Recommendations & Reading Challenge Update

Before I get into what I’m reading right now, I thought I’d share a little update on the 2017 Reading Challenge. You can check out all my selections for the challenge here and you can read about the challenge itself at Modern Mrs. Darcy. Prepare to be amazed by my diligence.

Need a good book for the summer? Here are some great options to check out.

Books I’ve Read for the 2017 Reading Challenge

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

Category: A book of any genre that addresses current events. You can read my thoughts on Hillbilly Elegy here.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Category: A book with a reputation for being un-put-downable. It was definitely a page-turner! Read my recommendation here. read more

How to Spend Your Time Wisely

Some days my house is spotless, but I’ve barely had a spare minute to do anything else. Other days are packed with fun, but our home looks like a bomb went off. Our family goes through seasons of busyness and periods of calm, and our days rarely feel perfectly balanced. Going through life as a family will always bring extra responsibilities and expectations into the mix. My mindset during this time: embrace the chaos, but don’t invite it in.

Spend your time wisely by making decisions that reflect your priorities.

Life moves in seasons

From the time babies are born, they constantly move from one phase to the next. Just as you feel that you’ve figured out one new behavior, they continue on to the next. A few days after we brought our first baby home, one of our good friends left us a hilariously encouraging message saying, “So right about now, your biggest question is: where the heck is the manual for this thing?” It was 100% true. Even at 6 and 9, my kids still go through periods that have us wondering how best to parent them. I have no doubt that some of the trickiest phases are still ahead of us in the teenage years. read more

Making Memories – It’s the Thought that Counts

With summer coming on like a freight train, I’m already in planning mode. Summer offers the opportunity to slow down and maybe inject something special into our normal routine. I want my kids to look back on fond memories of their childhood, but sometimes I put too much pressure on myself to provide meaningful experiences.

Don't let your own expectations get in the way of making authentic memories with your family.

When I was 9 or 10, my best friend and I went to see Tiffany in concert with our dads. If you don’t remember Tiffany, just imagine Miley Cyrus before she got weird, add some big hair and acid-washed denim, and you’ve got the idea. To be honest, I don’t remember much about the performance. read more

The Office Addition: Finding Hidden Space

One area of our house that could use some love is our master bedroom. The overall feel of our bedroom is comfortable, but unfinished. We made several basic cosmetic changes in this room before we moved in, including replacing the floors and painting, but it needs a more cohesive design. As it turns out, we have hidden attic space in our master. So before I focus on the bedroom itself, we’re working on a home office for my husband.

Here’s the master bedroom during our initial walk-through. (Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of pictures before we started construction so the only way to show all the changes is to use these photos.) read more