How to Be a Bookworm When You Don't Have the Time

A good friend and fellow bookworm asked me the other day "How exactly do you find the time to read?" 

It's actually a fair question, considering I work full time, have a full house and kids in activities who have an insane need for one-on-one time with their mama. 


It's just that ONE thing that gives me my sense of self, the one activity that I not only love, but feel like I need. I wish I loved exercising as much as I love reading. Well, c'est la vie, I guess. Reading it is. I just naturally make it a part of my day because it feels incomplete without a little bit of reading. 


And I just love finishing a good book. It just feels so good. Except book hangovers, those are the worst.

Here's how I'm a bookworm with no time to spare: 




A Hardback- I always have a book on hand. Usually, if the main book I'm reading is an e-book, I still have a light book in hardback or paperback that I can pick up from my nightstand for when I need a break. I usually also read different genres and like to read one non-fiction and one fiction at the same time. I feel like this make it easier to not get the story lines mixed up. 

Audible-  I am always listening to a book. My hour commute to work 3 to 4 times a week really helps my habit. I pay for 1 audio book a month, which means I am like a kid on Christmas on the eleventh of every month when I know it's time for a new book. This also comes in handy for those rare times I actually can talk myself into walking on the dreadmill. 


E-books- E-books make it possible for me to read whenever I have extra time. This happens in 10 minutes bursts throughout the day, whether I am watching Reese at gymnastics or waiting in the school pick up line. I also use e-books to get to sleep at night. I turn off the lights and read for a bit before finally conking out, without having to get up and turn off the lights. 

NetGalley- NetGalley is fun because it helps fuel my fire a little bit. In exchange for reviews, I get free e-books from publishers and authors. Because I know they are waiting to hear what the world thinks of their books, it motivates me to read a little faster just so that I can tell them what I think. 




Recognizing time-I just pay attention to extra time I may have to read. Now, I'll be honest with you. This "time" could also just as easily be spent on laundry, dusting, sweeping or something like that. But, nah. Plus hubs loves to do the dishes. You have to fight for your me time, and for me, that means snatching up that half an hour here and there. Usually, this looks like early in the mornings and late at time before bedtime. 




Goodreads: The absolutely only way I can keep organized. Without Goodreads, I would never remember which books are the next on my list. I have to keep a list of the books that I have promised to read and review as well as all the ones that I have been wanting to read for fun too. It also helps me move on to the next book quickly if I am bored with one. There's never any time to NOT be reading just because I can't find one I love. I am always adding some to my "to-read" list and reading the Books sections of People and Entertainment Weekly. Oh, and whatever BookRiots Podcast, All The Books tells me to read. 

So those are my tricks. I hope maybe you found a useful trick to help you become more of a bookworm! 

Happy Reading! 

#SimpleGoodness To Me

The good people over at Influenster and Country Crock are doing an awesome campaign centered around asking people what #SimpleGoodness means to them. I think it's an amazing question. I'm sure my list would go on much longer any one would actually want to read, but I thought I would give it a shot, so here it goes. 

#SimpleGoodness is...

A beautiful March day when you see the first blossoms of Spring on the trees

A grill full of veggies, complete with a husband who loves to cook for you. 



Teaching your kids to play badminton and giggling uncontrollably as you all fail over and over to hit the birdie.

Finding out if you are going to have a nephew or niece?!

Long walks with your husband that turn into really great talks. 

Reading love notes that you've long forgotten but still remembered to save in random places around the house. 

A call from a good friend who "just wants to check in to see how you're doing." 

Finally learning how to make carrot cake.

Coffee, a good book and a breeze coming through the window. 

Unexpected hugs from your kiddos. 

Sleeping in. 

Family dinners.


It just doesn't get any better. I looked up from my plate in this moment and new instantly that it was special. Everyone was smiling and happy and we weren't doing anything special, only that's exactly what it was.

When it's family dinner o'clock, one of the best things to do is have a simple meal to whip up because let's be honest, I'd rather be playing badminton with my cuties. That's what I love about the #SimpleGoodness campaign. My simple goodness plan is a little melted Country Crock and some freshly grated parmesan cheese tossed with grilled veggies. Another favorite? Red potatoes diced up and tossed with melted Country Crock and an Italian seasoning package. Bake that in the oven for 40 minutes and BAM. Perfection. There are other great ideas for #SimpleGoodness on my Pinterest board

What is your #SimpleGoodness?

Note: I  received Country Crock products free for testing purposes but all opinions are my own.

Book Round Up; Who's That Girl?


Lately I've noticed a trend in book titles and I couldn't help finding out who this girl is that is popping up on every book cover out there. Obviously, there are tons of books out there with "girl" in the title but these aren't just any books. They're at th top of lists, they're prominent on the shelves and people are raving about them. 

She's in the woods, she's on a train, she's in a garden. It's like where in the world is Carmen San Diego for us bookworms out there. So here's a mashup of all the books that are getting some attention out there for being great reads that all have "that girl" in common. Happy reading! 




Cheryl Strayed told me to read this. I mean, she told her millions of followers on social media but I like to think she was speaking right to me. Girl in the Woods is the personal account of Aspen's experience of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail just like Strayed's story in Wild. Aspen is reeling after bring raped on her second night of college. Even worse, she's confused and lost after her parents discourage her from going to the police. She sets out to find herself and finds much more on the way. Any story of a woman being brave and overcoming demons and hardships is a book I know has my name written all over it. 



I feel like when the weather starts to cool off and it starts getting darker sooner is the best time to bring out a chilling thriller and this is exactly the book you need for that. I read this a while ago and have recommended it to my fellow bookworms. The girl in this book is a character that you are never really sure if you can trust or not, which is a twist that I always enjoy, especially in a thriller. Rachel takes the train every day and every day she watches a couple who lives next door to an old familiar place that Rachel knows all too well. The mystery couple are Rachel's ex husband's neighbors, who left her and is now married and a father, and she's not very happy about it. She begins to intertwine herself into their lives and it does not end well. To say Rachel is a little obsessed is an understatement but I feel like if I say too much, I'll ruin it. Just read it, but leave the lights on. Read my complete review here.





The Girl from the Garden is  generational saga about an Iranian family that explores the traditions and emotional strain that comes from the oppressive culture. This story is inspired by events that actually happened within the author's family. It piqued my interest not only because of the title, but also because of how many layers there are to this family. I'm most interested in Rakhel, whose husband is putting pressure on her as his expectations of a son are not being met, and her fertile sister-in-law is making Rakhel feel even more devastated. This poignant story has me super intrigued. 




The setting: The Hampton's, Manhattan and high society. Plus, it's a family saga that goes over the span of several years. The description hints at love triangles, passionate affairs and secrets. Sounds like something I will dive into and love, so I added this to my list instantly. 

Girl in the Moonlight is the next book on my list, but currently I am reading Infinite Home (still, I know but I read as fast as my crazy schedule allows, I swear!) and I am listening to The Mistake I Made on audible. 

I've also been doing alot of work on the new house, including a new garage door, new screen doors and watching my Mr. Fix It hubs install keyless entry for the garage and a door bell. Now I must go, for our new bedding just came and there are cuddles to be had. There's truly nothing better than new bedding, amiright? 

Here's a few snapshots from our life lately...


Show Us Your Books: February




Life According to Steph

This might be kind of a whomp post but I felt like there's this side of bookworming that I never talk about, which is to admit that there are many books that I start...but don't finish.

Gosh, it felt good to finally admit that. 

There were several that I started in the past couple of weeks that have just not held my attention. 



The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend - I really, REALLY wanted to like this book, and I still like it, it just moved way too slow to keep me distracted enough not to start a new book. Which is exactly what happened. My favorite part was the many references to other books and it's a great list! There's just not enough interesting conversation and action to keep my interest, which makes me sad because it's got a lot of potential. This is one that although I did put down for now, I may pick up later. 


The Turner House  - Too many characters, too much jumping around and nothing too interesting except a couple lost souls and an old house. Snooze.
A Little Life - I listened to this about halfway through on Audible and it wasn't memorable enough for me to remember what happened between car rides. I liked the characters alot. Four life long friends, one of whom has a strange ailment that the others don't know the story behind. I need fast-paced stories to keep me entertained during my commute and this just didn't do it for me 

Here are  the books that I actually DID finish this month that I really really loved: 


My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout was really powerful. It's short- I read it in just a couple days. It's about a woman who, while bedridden after a serious illness, comes to find herself face to face with her estranged mother, whom she hasn't seen in almost a decade. She finally gets to talk to her mother about their past that have been plaguing their relationship. It's really just a stream of storytelling that is riveting and heartfelt. You get to see Lucy as a child, a woman on the verge of adulthood, and then later as a mother and wife. I just loved watching her develop and see her grow. Her experiences, that paths she chooses and the forgiveness she finally gets to give...it's all just very pleasing to read. 

 I listened to Beasts and Children on Audible. It was a great easy listen, mostly because there are several stories within the book and the author has a great, no-nonsense story telling manner that keeps you interested but is also descriptive and in depth. It was hard to listen to because it's basically all about children who are either left behind or not taken care of by the people who are supposed to love them above all else. There are alot of relationships with pets and humans that really pulled at my heart strings. There was a scene with a boy and his beloved dog that had me crying like a baby...

 It's tough to see the world through eyes of children who think or assume that their parents' love for them in unending or unconditional and what a harsh reality it is when they are finally old enough to understand that it's not. 

The Longest Night  was really good. It started off just a tad slow but by the end, I was really into it. It's about Paul and Nat Collier. He's stationed at a nuclear reactor site in the middle of nowhere and she's a young wife trying to navigate army life as a mother . It's loosely based on America's first nuclear accident in Idaho in 1960. There are many side stories going on and you are on the ledge the entire time about things you know are going to come tumbling down... It was a very tense story, as the characters hid secrets from from another, about their jobs, their feelings and the lives they lead when no one is around.

Right now, and probably for a while because it's HUGE, I am reading: 



My favorite people over at Book Riot have been raving about this and even though the language is pretty thick and it takes some concentration, I think I am going to really like it. It's about an opera singer with a secret past who has always dreamed of starring an opera that was written only for her. Alas her dream finally comes true when she is approached by a mysterious writer who has a story that he wants her to star in. The only problem is that the opera is the story of her life that no one except her and a few others know. Now she must decide if she wants to risk people knowing who she really is and uncovering the past she has tried to hide in order to become the world famous opera star she has always dreamed of being. Or, keep her secrets hidden, where they belong? All this in mid 1800s France. Yes, please. 

What was the best book you read in February? 





Our Weekend

First, our weekend was a whirlwind of great family time at home and with friends. I got to tag along as one of my best friends said "yes to her dress" and picked out her dream dress and beautiful bridesmaids dresses for her wedding in August. Talk about the perfect girls' day out. Wedding dresses, shopping and margaritas. Yes, please!

I stopped by one of my all time favorite stores in Kansas City, Nell Hill's. The Spring decor in this place was unbelievable. I just walked around in awe. They also always have books worked into their decor, which of course, I am crazy about. Mainly because of how beautiful it was but also because I was shopping. Alone. I took home some really cute jars for above my kitchen cabinets and an awesome lantern.



The kids talked me into having a "baking day" and boy was that a huge mess. The kids loved it so who am I to complain? I'll just be sweeping up sprinkles for the next decade...


We made sugar cookie balls and yogurt bites. The sugar cookie balls got a big thumbs down (only got one yay vote because they were covered in sprinkles). I used whole wheat flour and it just made them taste BLAH. I think maybe they wouldn't have been so bad if I used regular white flour.

The yogurt bites  got a huge thumbs up (I'm pretty sure that was mainly because they were covered in whip cream) and they were a healthy, fun snack that I can keep in the freezer. All it takes is fat free vanilla Greek yogurt and sugar free orange Jell-O mix. 

We spent a ton of time outside thanks to the beautiful weather and I'd say by the state in which I found these 4 on Saturday night, that it was a pretty great weekend... 


One very exciting thing that that I did this weekend was crossing off something off my bucket list. Kind of. I dream daily of opening a book store, You've Got Mail style. But alas, that's just not going to happen at this stage in life but here's what I did for now:


My friend owns a flower shop/home decor store downtown and she recently started serving coffees and lattes as well and has a really cute little nook where people can sit in comfy chairs and chat after they are done shopping. I was in there with some friends and we started talking about books and then this little idea to make a Mini Free Library was born. I started collecting more books and took some from my own shelves at home and stuffed them each with library cards. Hopefully, people will stop by and take a book and bring in their own books to share as well. I am just happy to pass along my love of reading to others and I hope they help fill it up! 

Here's hoping you had a wonderful weekend as well. Stop by tomorrow for a recap on the books I read in February for Steph and Jana's link up! 

What's New


I found a fun link up/writing prompt thanks to lovely bloggers  See You in a Porridge  & GretchRuns so it's time to play a little catch up on what's new around here. 


What's New With You


What's new with the house... nothing too exciting accept that Spring is getting close and CJ and I have visually mapped out what our landscaping goals are going to be for the yard. I can't wait. I LOVE that he loves to landscape...that means I get to come up with all the ideas and he does all the hard work. JK but I promise to help, a little. I've also come one step closer to painting. We have the colors for the kitchen picked out, we just have to decide on the back splash for the kitchen. We are headed to the Kansas City Home Show in a couple of weeks so I hope to get a few ideas there. 




What's new with my mantle...white. And I am in love. For February, I have lots of red and pink books and it was really sweet but I thought whites and little sprigs of green would make it feel like Spring was just around the corner. And I think it worked! 

What's new with the kids... These past couple of months have flown by. R1 has been busy with wrestling, which means he's at practice 3 nights a week, and 1 of those nights, I am hustling with R2 to gymnastics so we haven't had time to really chill like we usually do during the week. As long as I manage to have at least 2 sit down family dinners with them a week, I feel like we have accomplished something. Otherwise, we have to eat it shifts but I still try to sit down while they are eating to catch up on their day with them and give them my undivided attention for a little bit. 


And once in a while we even sit still long enough for a selfie...sort of. 


What's new with reading...I have been on a pretty good streak. I listened to Beasts and Children on Audible. It was a great easy listen, mostly because there are several stories within the book and the author has a great, no-nonsense story telling manner that keeps you interested but is also descriptive and in depth. It was hard to listen to because it's basically all about children who are either left behind or not taken care of by the people who are supposed to love them above all else. As a kid who grew up with a terrible step parent, I have a lot of memories that are hard to deal with... and this book definitely brought back some of those feelings so there were parts that were hard to read. It's tough to see the world through eyes of children who think or assume that their parents' love for them in unending or unconditional and what a harsh reality it is when they are finally old enough to understand that it's not. 



I just finished reading The Longest Night, which was really good. It started off just a tad slow but by the end, I was really into it. It's about Paul and Nat Collier. He's stationed at a nuclear reactor site in the middle of nowhere and she's a young wife trying to navigate army life as a mother . It's loosely based on America's first nuclear accident in Idaho in 1960. It was a very tense story, as the characters hid secrets from from another, about their jobs, their feelings and the lives they lead when no one is around.

What's new with binge watching...CJ and I just watched the first episode of Rectify. So far the first one was interesting and I've heard good things about it so I think we will watch a couple more and see if it picks up a little. A while ago we started Longmire but I got bored. The kids are obsessed with Fuller House and I'm not complaining about that either. It's not great television by any means but I have to say, I love seeing those blue and white checked curtains again! GIRLS is back on HBO and the only thing wrong with it is that it's only a half an hour long. I need more Marnie in my life, every day. 

What's new with other stuff... My girlfriends and I saw How to be Single a couple weeks ago and I LOVED it. If you get the chance, go see it. It's a rom com like we loved back in the days of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Love Actually. Just good, clean fun. Nothing raunchy or over the top. I laughed and cried (which is no surprise, I cry in dog food commercials and I don't even have a dog) but it's just a plain and simple good movie. 

The sweetest thing happened to me on Tuesday...I got to see what it felt like to be on the other end of Random Acts of Kindness! The person in front of me at Dunkin Donuts paid for my caramel macchiato. It made me love my #30for30 Random Acts we did for my birthday even more to know how good we made people feel. It was the best of feelings! 



What's new with you? Tell me what you've been decorating/reading/watching lately!