Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Summer Reading List

To know me is to know that I love books... I come by it honestly because my Dad and his 3 brothers have entire rooms loaded with book shelves we are talking about floor to ceiling types of hoarding situations. I'm not at that level yet, but I did just take 6 boxes of books to Half Price Books yesterday to sell them... so maybe I'm closer than I think? (Don't answer that!)

I'm always reading on my Kindle App at night -- and I've worked my way through all of the Hannah Swensen murder mystery books, the Coffeehouse Mysteries books, and am now working my way through the White House Chef Mysteries. The fun part about all 3 of these series is that they have a food element to the stories, so there are also recipes included for the things that they talk about in the stories. I haven't made any of them yet, but a good friend of mine is making at least one recipe out of each book as she reads them.

My summer reading list includes these fiction titles, but several other things as well -- want to peek into my bag of books? (click on the photos to be taken directly to their listing on Amazon)

I'm on the book launch team for this book, and y'all it's amazing -- I'm 2 chapters in and it's literally life changing... seriously, you want to RUN over and preorder a copy of this book today! It comes out on June 27th, and truly -- you will not regret the life-affirming words on these pages. Here is the description from Amazon:

"Women often feel like they have to have it all together in order to live a meaningful life. Instead they feel inadequate, overwhelmed, and exhausted as they to figure out how to do it all. Author, business owner, and mom to three Lara Casey offers sound and grace-filled advice: “We can’t do it all, and do it well. But, we can choose to cultivate what matters.”
Welcome to the journey of getting messy in the rich soil of possibility—embracing imperfect, grace-filled progress to grow a life of joy.
Written as part encouragement anthem and part practical guide, Cultivate offers wisdom from God’s Word alongside lessons Lara has learned in her garden. Woven throughout is her personal story that helps release readers from the pressure to achieve and gives them freedom to move from planning to planting a meaningful legacy. “It’s in the imperfect—the mess of the dirt--that good things grow,” Casey reminds readers. “Peonies grow through the dirt, and so do we.” Readers will learn to embrace the season they’re in, finding balance as they interact in fresh ways with their current life scenarios, with God, and in the communities where they are planted.
Special features include

  • Actionable Cultivate It prompts throughout the book
  • A ten-week Cultivate Together discussion guide with questions for small groups
  • “Grace from the Garden” vignettes provide encouragement and inspiration
Find the joy and the freedom that comes in cultivating what matters, little by little, with God’s transforming grace."

I need this in my life -- I need simple, easy, and imperfect... I need more real and less Pinterest worthy snapshots of what life isn't. I'll be putting this one at the top of the list, it's first up after I finish Cultivate. I've got Emily's Next book on preorder as well! Here is the description of the book from Amazon:

"As a busy wife, new mother, business owner, and designer, Emily Ley came to a point when she suddenly realized she couldn’t do it all. She needed to simplify her life, organize her days, and prioritize the priorities. She decided to hold herself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This mantra led to the creation of her bestselling Simplified Planner®, a favorite among busy women everywhere—from mamas to executives and everywhere in between.
Grace, Not Perfection takes this message from a daily planner to an inspirational book that encourages women to simplify and prioritize. Designed with Emily Ley’s signature aesthetic, this book gives women tangible ways to simplify their lives to give space to what matters most. With a focus on faith, Emily reminds readers that God abundantly pours out grace on us—and that surely we can extend grace to ourselves.
Have you been told you can have it all, only to end up exhausted and occasionally out of sorts with the people you love? Are you ready for a new way of seeing your time? Learn to live a little more simply. Hold yourself and those you love to a more life-giving standard in Grace Not Perfection, and allow that grace to seep into your days, your family, and your heart."
My sister sent me a text yesterday about this book -- so naturally, I had to get it -- but the premise sounds like it's right up my alley. It's a book about setting up schedules and routines so that everyone knows what to expect next and if that doesn't speak to my sweet James' need for order and structure. If this one sticks with me -- I'm going to check out their book Managers of Their Chores. Here is the description: 
"Completely revised and direct from Titus2! What resource could be better than Managers of Their Homes to bring families peace and order? The answer is the newly revised Managers of Their Homes!! Managers of Their Homes has been thousands of moms' go-to resource for the past 17 years. But with time, comes even more experience besides our own and the pilot families who tested it out. We've gained new insights that we realized were vital to include in this treasured book.
Each chapter has been extensively revised and more helpful tips added. You'll also find a special chapter on how to schedule when a mom faces health challenges or is on bedrest. Plus, what good is a schedule if you can't make it run smoothly? Schedules ARE stress-busters, but you need the proper tools to make it that way. So with that in mind, we've given practical help on implementing despite the challenges you face.
In addition, the chapter on putting your schedule together with the included Scheduling Kit gives an optional route if you choose to subscribe to the online scheduling software (ScheduleBreeze). The book's new design and format makes for a super easy and comfortable read.
Grab your revised copy of Managers of Their Homes now! Can you imagine how wonderful it would be to go to bed each night, with the peace of mind that you accomplished what you wanted to each day, such as a clean house, AND homeschooling? Tens of thousands of moms prove it is possible, every day. This book INCLUDES the Scheduling Kit."

I saw an interview a week or so ago or maybe it was a podcast talking about it -- but this book sounded like something that interested me. I feel like I need some help and tips to help make sure that my kids are better than what I'm seeing lately -- both in my home and in the world. 

"In The Collapse of Parenting, internationally acclaimed author Leonard Sax argues that rising levels of obesity, depression, and anxiety among young people can be traced to parents abdicating their authority. The result is children who have no standard of right and wrong, who lack discipline, and who look to their peers and the Internet for direction. Sax shows how parents must reassert their authority—by limiting time with screens, by encouraging better habits at the dinner table, and by teaching humility and perspective—to help their children thrive in an increasingly complicated world." 
I heard someone mention this book, and it just sounded like something I needed to check out -- I can't decide where it'll fit in the order of priority -- but it's definitely in the top of the stack. Here is the Amazon description: 
"Today’s busier, faster society is waging an undeclared war on childhood. With too much stuff, too many choices, and too little time, children can become anxious, have trouble with friends and school, or even be diagnosed with behavioral problems. Now internationally renowned family consultant Kim John Payne helps parents reclaim for their children the space and freedom that all kids need for their attention to deepen and their individuality to flourish. Simplicity Parenting offers inspiration, ideas, and a blueprint for change:
• Streamline your home environment. Reduce the amount of toys, books, and clutter—as well as the lights, sounds, and general sensory overload.
• Establish rhythms and rituals. Discover ways to ease daily tensions, create battle-free mealtimes and bedtimes, and tell if your child is overwhelmed. 
• Schedule a break in the schedule. Establish intervals of calm and connection in your child’s daily torrent of constant doing.
• Scale back on media and parental involvement. Manage your children’s “screen time” to limit the endless deluge of information and stimulation. 

A manifesto for protecting the grace of childhood, Simplicity Parenting is an eloquent guide to bringing new rhythms to bear on the lifelong art of raising children."

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