Two Great Reads

I am 4 books into a “great read chain”, having just finished two really different but both excellent books. I first read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown, after a chaotic month of September where I felt like I was a whirling dervish, trying to get too many things done at once. I was giving 80% to all things and nothing was getting my 100% focus. McKeown speaks succinctly and lays out a simple plan of how to decide throughout your day whether or not a task, conversation, relationship, is a meaningful investment. He recommends saying “no” often and with confidence. He sights countless examples of people who created blank space for sitting in silence and just thinking – and the powerful revelations that came from that practice. He also highlighted some of the greatest thinkers of our generation who weed out non-essential meetings, calls, and trips, so that they can spend their time doing the things that will bring about the most meaningful change in the world around them. I made some subtle and not-so-subtle changes in my daily choices after reading this book. And I feel at least 30% happier and less stressed because of them.

I then took a 180 degree turn after reading this book, and read This is How It Always Is, by Laurie Frankel. In this novel Frankel deftly explores the transgender experience for a young family who has a son that is born believing he is without a doubt meant to be a girl. I laughed, I cried, and I walked away from this read feeling deep compassion for families in this situation. It is a must read for teachers, who will without a doubt more regularly bump up against this circumstance in the years to come. Outside of the transgender plot this book is chock full of beautiful family relationships. Frankel also creates a healthy, whole, and very real relationship between two of the main characters who are the parents of the young girl who transitions in this book. It had some great nuggets on what marriage looks like at its best when under extreme duress. It was a very quick and meaningful read.

Favorite Place: Christ Church Books and Gifts

Tucked away under the main building at Christ Church on the Post Road is Christ Church Books and Gifts. I stumbled upon it one day, and to say that it was more than I expected is an understatement. Becky Ford, who has run the store for the last four years, is spectacular. Knowledgable, charming, and pure… read more

Great Resource: Special Education Legal Fund

There is nothing I appreciate more than a woman on a mission. And when that mission is for the betterment of those in need, I like that mission even more. My friend’s Christine Lai and Ulrika Drinkall are the parents of children with special needs. When their sons were diagnosed they wasted no time feeling… read more

Do you flow?

A few months back I went to a yoga class and was surprised to walk in and discover my usual teacher was out sick and a “make up” teacher was seated on the mat in the front of the room. I immediately felt “bristly” and disappointed. I wanted my usual teacher and contemplated leaving the… read more

The Return of the Fanny Pack

Gucci Marmont Belt Bag I’m just gonna say it. I am completely digging the resurgence of the fanny pack. I’ll admit it’s an acquired taste, but I just can’t imagine anything easier than having your hands free while running errands, watching soccer games, or hanging at a concert.

Why We All Need to Recycle

I am proud to say that thanks to a few close friends and a large bunch of their supporters, plastic bags were recently banned in our town. You can read more about that movement here. I stumbled upon this Now This video about what happens to items when they are a part of single stream… read more

Great Kitchen Investment: Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

I am going to come clean, which I haven’t done on the blog enough recently, but I was a terrible chef for myself, my kids, and my husband last year. I’m not proud to say there were many nights when I left my husband fending for himself and whipping up some very creative leftovers (read… read more

Parent Talk with Cristina Young – Thriving During Back to School

I’m thrilled to welcome Cristina Young back to the blog just in time for ‘”back to school”. I always find her commentary (previously here and here) to be useful and on point as I navigate the ever-changing landscape of parenthood. If you are anything like me, you stumble into September feeling unprepared for a faster… read more

Fall is Coming

This weekend temperatures dropped almost 20 degrees overnight. It had me finally thinking about fall layers, cozy meals, and the first indoor fire of the season. The new school year always feels like a fresh start. I’m ready for the energy shift, are you?   *images: Pinterest, Habitually Chic, and Cutter Brooks

Great App: Audible

As you all know, I’ve been listening to podcasts while I walk and drive for a few years now. I blogged about some of my favorites here. There is literally not a topic you can’t find in podcast form – from the history of how chimneys work to mastering self love. I still love podcasts, but I… read more