Reading to Recharge + Podcast Recommendation

How do you recharge?

It is not always possible, but every afternoon I try to sit down and read a little. I will make a cup of tea or decaf coffee and read a chapter or two.

Occasionally I fall asleep for 5-10 minutes before I'm inevitably interrupted. It takes a lot of discipline to sit down and make myself relax because... a woman's work is never done! But I feel so much better after a little reading, ready to tackle the dinner hour!

Also, I have an inspiring book lover's podcast to recommend - What Should I Ready Next? with Anne Bogel. Anne Bogel from the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy discusses all things books with her guests, ending each show with her recommendations for what they should read next. It has been extremely helpful in putting together my own (short) book list.


Reading, Watching, Listening


I recently finished reading Charlotte's Web to Stephen. He's 6. We both loved it.

And now we are several chapters into The Mouse and the Motorcycle. It is so laugh out loud funny to me. Beverly Cleary might be my favorite author of all time. Stephen says he doesn't like this book, but I can attest that's just not true. He is so into it, but it makes him anxious. There are some "suspenseful" parts.



At night when kids are asleep, Stephen and I have been watching The Good Wife (through Amazon Prime). It's all lawyers, politics, and scandal, and Julianna Margulies is gorgeous. Can you believe she is almost 50?! We are only in season 2, but I'm into it. Only 7 seasons left, ha. Apparently, I'm late to this party.



What did I do before podcasts? My recent favorite is Sorta Awesome. Megan Tietz is the host, a mom, a wife, a thirty-something, and she and her co-hosts discuss all things that are sorta awesome - blogs, recipes, books, parenting, clothes, music, personality types, TV, and then some. If you need some adult company during the day, I highly recommend checking out this podcast! I listen when I'm walking, cooking, and folding laundry. My kids love the intro music to this show. I turn it way up for them and they all go crazy!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, so if you purchase through these links I receive a small compensation. FYI.
What are you reading, watching, and listening to these days?


Laurie's 5th Birthday P"ART"Y

I have a love/hate with children's birthday parties. They are so much work, yet so fun! Kind of like kids in general.

A nice family meal with cake and presents to follow are more my speed, but my children are party people. I want them to feel loved and special. And once I come around to accepting the fact that I am the one in charge of the details, I totally get into it.

Also, I have wonderful memories of the fabulous parties my mom put together for me as a child.

At the top of the list are...

a play at a local children's theater followed by pizza and cake,
an egg hunt/ cookie decorating party when my birthday was close to Easter,
a 50's party where we rented a jukebox and made the carport a dance floor


a surprise lunch at the country club with a huge centerpiece of yellow roses when I turned 18!
I could go on. (Thanks for the memories, Mama!)

Birthdays are special and worth all the trouble.

For Laurie's party....after much agonizing over a theme, we came to an agreement and settled on an art party, or rather a P"ART"Y, which was perfect for a cold, unpredictable January day.

The girls painted flowers on canvases, ate lunch, and cake. The end.

The supplies are all from my beloved AMAZON.

paints/ brushes/ canvas/ palettes/ aprons

These are affiliate links, so if you purchase through these links I receive a small compensation. FYI.

Love our special 5 year old! 
I (WE) truly had so much fun with this party.


What I'm Loving and Learning About My Capsule Wardrobe

A few posts back I shared my winter capsule wardrobe.


The rules:

3 months: January, February, and March
39 pieces of clothing, shoes, and scarves (give or take a couple)
no shopping

One month in, I'm learning and loving so much! And for the first time in my life, I'm not stressed about clothes! This being said, I feel the need to clarify - I'm not an immaculate dresser. I'm average. But I have always loved clothes, and I like to look nice. After babies and babies and babies...I was feeling totally out of whack with my style and thought the capsule wardrobe craze just may be the solution to my decade long clothing crisis.

So, for what it's worth, here's what I'm learning and loving about my capsule wardrobe.


1. I love that enough is defined. In the fashion realm of ever changing trends, I have always felt like I did not have enough of the latest and greatest. Defining how much you wear, how much you shop, and having a budget really fosters contentment.

2. It's a break from decisions. Shopping = decisions. And frankly, I'm burned out on decisions! From what we have for dinner every night to what my children wear every day to what is on the family calendar all falls on me to decide. Having a set wardrobe and limitations on shopping is a glorious break from decision. No more scrolling J.Crew at 10PM trying to decide should I buy this, do I need this, should I spend this money!

3. I'm learning my style. Within the capsule, I gravitate towards outfits that are more "me" than others. This gives me the chance to analyze what and why I like or dislike something. Because there is no shopping, I can't distract myself from analyzing these style issues by running out and buying something new.

4. I'm figuring out the "holes" in my closet and how I can do better in the future. For example, next winter I would like a better comfy pant - shoe situation for everyday, casual wear. I have boots and Uggs and Toms, but I could use something warmer than Toms that are not boots.

Also, I think I could use a lighter, casual jacket. Like this, maybe.

mixing everyday wear with my athletic wear
Who am I?

5. I'm learning that I'm short. Well, I already know that. But I'm learning that this plays a huge role in what I wear and how I should put outfits together and what looks good. I can't emulate every look and trend I like without factoring in what flatters my short frame. For example, flowy sleeves and big jewelry or scarves are unflattering. They swallow me up.

However, monochromatic outfits are flattering, making me look taller. I never knew these things about myself until....you guessed it : capsule wardrobe!

6. I love that a capsule helps me plan the big picture. I'm not just getting a random piece of clothing here or there, but I'm coming up with an overall plan. I'm acquiring pieces that go together. What is the point of a great skirt if you have no tops to wear it with?


7. I'm excited to pass on this capsule concept on to my girls. They may not appreciate it until they are 32 and admit that mom was right about everything in life! But, at least I can give them this framework to start with and maybe save them a boatload of heartache when it comes to all things clothes and getting dressed. I'm 32 myself, and I feel like I'm finally figuring out the whole clothes thing and learning what it means to be content and enjoy wearing what I have instead of ALWAYS wishing I had more money, more time, and a better sense of style.

8. I'm so excited to put together my spring and summer wardrobes! In fact, I must confess I broke my shopping ban to buy something for my spring capsule. But it was thrifted and under $10. I think it was a good move! The rules are in place to be my servant and not my master.

Please forgive the selfies, the run on sentences, and poor use of commas. I'm in a bit of a rush!

Anyways, your thoughts? Would love to hear your thoughts.


When Costco Makes Me Too Tired To Cook

This is my super simple, go-to meal for when I have a big Costco trip....because after buying and hauling all that food to the car and in the house, I'm too tired to cook!

The simplest of simple meals :
I love their Rotisserie chickens, of course!
And then I make this EASY spinach recipe my kids love.
Last, but not least, I will add pasta or a baked sweet potato or rice...whatever we have on hand.

This is a really lovely meal. Add candles + wine. Lovely!


Another Costco trick for times when I have kids taking up too much room in the cart is... I will go through the store twice.

This morning, I went through once and bought bread, produce, and dry goods, and then I took it all to the car. Then I went in again and got milk, cheese, and meat. I like to zoom through there....like it's race or something.

Three cheers for the baby who slept in her car seat through part 1 and part 2 of the experience!

A few weeks ago I decided I was tired of using my Saturday mornings to do all our grocery shopping. I'm always so happy when I get it done during the week even if that means going with kids.

I have made many many many exasperating mistakes when it comes to grocery shopping. But through much trial and error, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.


So what are your tricks? Or the simple meals you come home to after an exhausting shopping trip?
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