Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Happy Wednesday! Link up, link back, say hi!

Time to fess up.

1. I am so, so happy with our Thanksgiving plans this year, which I feel like is a confession since I'm not hosting and we're not going to anyone's house. It's just my husband, my kid, and my brother. I can wear sweats. I'll run the vacuum over the downstairs carpet at some point instead of the marathon cleaning session that's usually required. I'll make pies tomorrow, rather than today since I won't be rushing around. I won't have to worry about extra chairs, tablecloths, how to politely tell people they can't have drinks over our couch, or whether or not I'll botch the gravy. I'm sure at some point I'll have a moment of regret, but right now? I'm so good.

2. I don't care if stores are open on Thanksgiving and that people ditch their families to go shopping. So what? I don't want to, so I don't. And I am genuinely sorry that the employees have to work, but as callous as this sounds, when you accept a job in retail in one of the most materialistic, capitalistic nations in the world it's a risk you kind of take.

3. I went to a place the other day with a friend that sells ice cream sealed up in warm donuts. I hate the entire thing without looking back. Actually, that's not true. I do keep looking back, thinking about when I can return for another one.

4. Yesterday I was at Starbucks and the stupid barista filled my drink up too full and some spilled on my white shirt, in the upper chest region. I was faced with a dilemma- either go to Target (in the same parking lot) as planned, with this horrible stain, or go home. I am embarrassed to admit that I went for it. The old me, the one that wouldn't have to load and unload a squirming toddler in a car seat, would have just gone back later, but nope. I was that mom, in the store with a coffee stain on her boob. Never again. Once, when I was fifteen, I got pizza sauce on my shirt at the mall and I was so horrified I begged my mom to go buy me a new short so I could change. Shockingly, she did. 

5. A few weeks ago I made the uncharacteristic decision to impulse buy a Clarisonic. I haven't quite decided if I like it yet, so now I'm worried that I wasted a lot of money. To be determined.

6. I swore up and down up until a few weeks ago that I'd never give Sawyer those stupid puree pouches. But then the babysitter said she had and he was eating things like spinach and kale and I started thinking about how, well, nutritious, they sounded. And easy. So I've been giving him one a day and feeling like a lazy parent. A friend made me feel better, though, pointing out that Sawyer knows how to eat with utensils and is getting a more well-rounded diet now. 

7. Whenever I am off I text my husband so much more often, most of it completely mundane things. Like how I really want Arby's. Or pictures of out child's bed head. Or expletives about my fellow Costco shoppers. And then I wonder why it takes him so long to reply. 

8. I think I have an unhealthy relationship with my Fitbit. I'm in two workweek challenges right now and it's taking over my life. I guess it's not the worst obsession to have, since I'm really active for a vacation week, but last night I finally had to make myself not check it so I could let myself sit down and watch a movie with Scott, instead of hopping on the treadmill. As a result, when I woke up I was 500 steps out of place in one, and only 6,000 steps ahead in first place in the other, as opposed to 10,000 like before. I'm a monster.

9. We watched Trainwreck last night and I can't decide if I like Amy Schumer. Everyone in in total love with her, except me, apparently. I don't dislike her, but I think she carries too much of her stand-up in her regular acting delivery that it bothers me (I hate stand-up; I'm the worst person to invite to an improv). The movie, though, as a whole, was funny.

10. I recently found out someone sort of never let me in on a joke they played on me (aka LIED) quite awhile ago. Definitely outside the appropriate "time to come clean" window. Who does that? Six-year-olds? We'll just file this under "things that make you go hmmmm" for now (as opposed to the elaborate plan for the good-natured, legal, revenge I was considering).

Sponsored Post: Like Family by Paolo Giordano

This books was kindly provided for review from Penguin.

A few years ago a book club I was in selected The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano for out selection. We all enjoyed it so much that we attempted to go to his reading, but someone didn't take my advice that we should leave far earlier than we did seriously, and we ended up at a bar instead of a reading. But anyway, I digress. Giordano's first impression was a good one.

His newest release, Like Family, is a novella based on factual events, detailing the impact a nanny/housekeeper named Mrs. A had on a young family. The narrator is an academic, a physicist, and his wife, Nora, is an interior decorator. The two find themselves on the verge of parenthood, needing someone to help steer their domestic ship while Nora struggles with a difficult pregnancy and then as they adjust to parenthood. 

The family becomes quite dependent on Mrs. A as their young son gets older, especially as they obviously struggle to adapt to having an "average" child. Unfortunately, their elderly caregiver becomes incredibly ill with cancer and they are left to their own devices. The impending loss brings to the surface a myriad of emotions that cause the couple to look inward and towards the future. 

Gioradano's writing is smooth, simple, and beautiful. He is a man of few words, but the ones he does offer us are deliberate and meaningful. Like Family resonates in the days to come and the smallest things, especially if you have a child, a significant other, or an elderly caregiver in your midst, will remind you of the story. 


Certain times of the year make me nostalgic. New Year's Day. The end of the school year. Sawyer's birthday. But mine? Not so much. The older I get, the less I care. 

That being said, the sweet texts, posts, gifts, and visits I received yesterday were touching. Time is such a valuable commodity, so whenever people are willing to share a little on my behalf I'm honored. 

The day itself was simple, but pleasant. I got to sleep in, which by itself would have been gift enough. I enjoyed a long walk with Sawyer around the duck pond, got coffee, and went grocery shopping (I honestly really enjoy doing this every week, which is probably crazy). I had a few visitors stop by and then read while Sawyer napped, as opposed to grade or clean, as I normally do. And then we had burritos for dinner and watched Jane the Virgin

I know. I party hard

I am admittedly excited about the books my husband got me. We don't mess around with guessing what each other wants for birthdays and Christmas. Again, time is limited. So, we set limits and give each other lists. It's super romantic. But it works really well and we generally throw in a surprise here and there. 

And that's it. I'm 32. I need to start using my eye ream more diligently. 

Sponsored Post- The Fox and the Star

I've really slowed down the amount of books I'm willing to take on for review, but when Penguin offered to send me The Fox and the Star, a beautifully illustrated book by Coralie Bickford-Smith, I happily accepted. 

This story tells the tale of a fox that looks for the guidance of a brightly shining star in the sky and must break out of his comfort zone to find it once it disappears.

What I loved most about this book was the complex simplicity, both of the story and the art. It's a story that adults and kids will appreciate; Sawyer even enjoyed looking at the pictures with me (although he did "meow" at the fox). Not to mention the book itself is simply a beautiful hardback. Those that are fans of mythology and folklore will undoubtedly appreciate Bickford-Smith's work as well. 

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts

Link up, link back, say hello, accept my apologies for sucking at commenting back on your awesome blogs (but soon! Vacation is coming!)

1. Who want invite me somewhere awesome so I have a reason to buy this predictably overpriced but oh-so-lovely dress from Anthro? This is why I should have signed up to chaperone prom. 

2. Last week I walked just over 102,000 mother-effing steps in five days (that's an average of about ten damn miles a day) in order to win a Fitbit challenge with a coworker new to the game. It was so bad that at eleven at night on Friday after an exhausting week I was on my treadmill reading magazines and texting kind people that were willing to entertain me while I attempted to stay awake. And did I win? NO! He beat me by about 5,000 steps. I pretend to be outraged (fine, I am a little bit), but it was actually super motivating and sort of fun. 

3. I bought a Deep Covered Baker from Pampered Chef a few months ago and have used it just a few times. I haven't used it enough to justify the expense quite yet, but now that I tried making their infamous lava cake in it I just might in the near future. Let me preface this with saying that I completely believe that the whole Lava Cake dessert fad was incredibly gimmicky, on a culinary level, but whatever. I mean, I think peanut butter on a slice of cheese is delicious, so who am I to judge? Anyway, you make the batter from a boxed (the horror!) cake and pour it in the baker. You then plop in spoonfuls of 2/3 container of canned (the horror!) frosting, cover, and bake in the microwave (the horror!) for ten minutes. Boom, you have lava cake. It's sort of magical. 

4. I just renewed my single subject teaching credential and it cost $102.50 (I have a multiple subjects one too, for elementary, but at least that one is good for a few more years). That seems like a lot for a public service job. One one level I get it- people are required to buy uniforms and things like that for their careers, so this is just something we need to make our work possible. But, on the other hand, I am spending my days educating our state's kids and have completed years and years of schooling to do so (and have the student loans to prove it). And I have to pay? To educate? I don't know. A least it's a tax deduction.

5. Why not spend some more money? I'm about to head over to Visual Editions to pre-order their stunning version of Don Quixote. My husband wants in on this one, at least, so joint account it is... We have all their books except the last one, on maps, which I'm still pretty sad about somehow missing.

6. Can we just all agree, as a human race, to not put up Christmas decorations outside until after Thanksgiving? 

7. So, the mascot at the high school where I teach is Native American-related and there is an effort right now to change it to something that is more culturally sensitive, as has been done in countless other places. While I'm not going to get into the politics and excessively discuss my personal beliefs right now, since there are spies everywhere, I can certainly say that I am so very disappointed in how disrespectful some people are, on both sides of the debate. I desperately wish that this could be a civilized conversation that was used as a teaching tool, but for the most part it is not. I'm also concerned that people are saying things they shouldn't on social media- if this debate ends up going anywhere and the press gets involved, derogatory comments publicly made could impact people's future college acceptances, careers, and reputations. It's sadly messy. 

8. Also, not to get too political yet again, I am so disappointed by the ignorance people have towards refugees. This broke my heart. 

9. I'm still listening to Do No Harm, a memoir about a neurosurgeon in the UK by Henry Marsh and really love it. It took me a little to get used to the narrator's voice, but I think that's pretty much always how I am. 

10. One of the best things about Sawyer right now is that he's starting to become intentionally affectionate. He'll just walk over to me and hug me out of nowhere or blow me kisses while I'm putting him to sleep (that's probably him learning to be manipulative, who am I kidding?). He's finally starting to give Scott kisses, too, which is pretty adorable.