Book Challenge by Erin 17.0

I said I’d post this last Thursday, but then I didn’t. Better late than never *shrug*

Erin is kicking off another book challenge in July. Will I complete it? Probably not. Is it fun to try anyway? Yep.

Rules can be found here. My choices can be found below πŸ“š

| 5 points | Freebie: The Paris Apartment (Lucy Foley)
| 10 points | A book that you predict will bring you joy and happiness: Looking for Lovely (Annie F. Downs)
| 10 points | Set in Canada: Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
| 15 points | By an author of a different race: The Office of Historical Corrections (Danielle Evans)
| 20 points | A flower in the title or a on the cover: Island Affair (Priscilla Oliveras)
| 20 points | A book with book/books/bookstore/bookshop/library in the title: Book Lovers (Emily Henry)
| 25 points | Published the year of a significant event in your life (2019- M was born): Red, White, & Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston)
| 30 points | Recommended by the librarian/book store employee/”staff recommendations” shelf: The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
| 30 points | Includes a trip or a vacation/holiday: One Italian Summer (Rebecca Serle)
| 35 points | A book a with earth, air, fire, water or space in title: Little Fires Everywhere (Celeste Ng)

Which book should I start with?


What I Read…

Hi & happy book day! This might just be a book blog now, lol.

Linking up with Steph & Jana today for Show Us Your Books! (Happy belated bday to Jana!)

Title sends you to GoodReads & β€œbuy it” goes to an affiliated link on on BookShop or Amazon!

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | YA Mystery | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
The second in The Inheritance Games series and another 5 star read. I think I loved book 1 more, but this one sucked me in all the same and kept me turning pages. I can’t say and won’t say much, because you need to start with book one. I’m excited for the third one’s release in September!
Buy it! Bookshop | Buy it! Amazon | Buy it! Kindle

The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom | Christian Fiction | β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
I don’t know why exactly this book didn’t click with me, but it didn’t… Maybe it was the neat little ending for some of the characters? Maybe it was how quickly the “come to Jesus” moment happened for some of them. (Pun intended, fyi.) It was fine, but I walked away knowing I could’ve not read it and still been unchanged.
Buy it! Bookshop | Buy it! Amazon | Buy it! Kindle

My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood | short story | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
I think I am a fan of how Atwood writes… I’ve only read The Handmaid’s Tale, but this one was such a calming, gentle story of mother and daughter and mother. I think depending on your role in life, you read this differently. The evils we take on and concoct to protect and guide and raise our babies. And the burdens our moms carry to give us the life they think we deserve.
Buy it! Kindle

The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers | Sci-fi? Fantasy? Weirdness | DNF
This was weird and I don’t regret walking away. It was a book club pick and everyone agreed it was an oddball.

Another Book Challenge starts in July. I’m planning to share my picks on Thursday.

What did you read this month?


What I Read…

Happy Book Day! Also, it’s now May. WTF. We’re practically to Christmas.

Linking up with our fabulous hosts, Steph & Jana, for Show Us Your Books!

Title sends you to GoodReads & β€œbuy it” goes to an affiliated link on on BookShop or Amazon!

The Wedding Game by Meghan Quinn | Romance | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
The cover is terrible, but the inside is hilarious. I was crying-laughing more than once. Luna was flawed but lovely, Alec was v steamy, and all the side characters were fantastic- esp. Farrah, Declan, and Naomi. I laughed a lot, but the book had a lot of heart, too.
Buy it! BookShop | Buy it! Amazon | Buy it! Kindle

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig | Magical Realism | β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
I am clearly in the minority, as I did not love the book. It was interesting, and I’ve never read a story like it, but it was predictable. And I felt like it had a naivety to it. I did not connect with it. I believe it’s a soft spot to land for those in the thick of depression, and that’s absolutely lovely.
Buy it! BookShop | Buy it! Amazon | Buy it! Kindle

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | YA Mystery | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
Inhaled. I literally inhaled this book. I couldn’t put it down. It was so enjoyable and I immediate put a hold on the second book in the trilogy once I’d finished this one. The brothers were so unique. Avery is a badass. Every chapter had me turning pages. My only complaint is that everyone is so young so I feel weird having literary crushes on them. LOL
Buy it! BookShop | Buy it! Amazon | Buy it! Kindle

It was a pretty dang good month for books. What have you read lately?


What I Read…

This wasn’t an awesome reading month for me. I tried to tackle a book for bookclub that just wasn’t my cup of tea… So I have my first DNF of the year. Then another one that I was reading on my Kindle came due at the library and I forgot to turn on airplane mode so I lost it and had to re-borrow it… so I haven’t finished it yet. Sigh. Like I said- not my month.

Enough chit-chat. On to the books. Linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books.

The title sends you to GoodReads, the “buy it” goes to an affiliated link on on BookShop or Amazon!

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarrΓ© | Espionage Mystery | DNF
I said countless times, “I’m not smart enough for this book.” I know that’s not true, but I’m definitely not in the right brain space to read this one. And I almost watched the film (because the bookclub assignment was book + film), but it seemed too violent for me. So I just skipped everything.
Buy it! BookShop | Buy it! Amazon | Buy it! Kindle

Royal Valentine by Jenn McKinlay | Romance | β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5
This was very cute and very quick. I could pick it apart, but it was a Hallmark-y novella that passed the time just fine. (I’d call it a 3.5 star story but I round up.) Al was adorable, Molly was likable, and who doesn’t love a fairytale ending?
Buy it! Kindle

Moo Reads

I promised some books from M’s shelf this time around, so here they are!

Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney
We change the grandparents’ titles to the names M uses.
goodreads | amazon

Disney Baby Animals by Walt Disney Co.
M loves this book- so much so she bawled when I returned it to the library so I ended up purchasing it. And we read it several nights a week. It’s very simple- possibly too simple for her- but it does help her identify animals. And she’s obsessed with it so whatever *shrug*
goodreads | amazon

Lovevery books
Some of our favorite books right now are the books we get in our quarterly Lovevery box. (My mom gifted them to M just after her first bday.) Our favorites are:
– Making Muffins
– Graham Turns Two
– Bedtime for Zoe
– Max and Nana Go to the Park
– Bea Gets a Check Up

I didn’t check anything off my challenge book list, but I’ll have some checked off next month. Which is good… since the challenge ends April 30th. LOL

What did you read this month?


Tiny Human Recommendations (6 Months+)

This is with double motive. First and foremost, lots of blog friends and internet friends and irl friends are having babies or have recently had babies. These are beyond-newborn-stage products that have been awesome for M. We still use and love the majority of them. (She’s a quarter past 2 y.o.)

I did a post like this once before and it was incredibly unpopular, but I don’t learn from my mistakes so fingers crossed this one does better.

Now for my second reason making this post… 90 days ago I was approved to be an Amazon affiliate and given an 180 day trial period to prove people wanted to buy my recs. Well so far I’ve had 0/3 people purchase anything- and that is for lack of trying. Oops. So this is my pathetic but honest plea to encourage you to use the links below if you do plan to buy any of these awesome products.

Ok. That was long winded. Let’s do this.

Sippy Cups

When you are a Type-A Enneagram 5 mom, you research the hell out of things. Like cups.

18 months and 4 days ago experts said it’s best for babies to learn to drink from a cup or from a straw- not tradition sippy cups. Why? I don’t know. They’ve likely changed their minds by now.

But regardless, M loves doing things on her own and this cups allowed her to consume a little water and create a terrible mess at the age of 8 months. The slightly less messy option, that we still use today, is this straw cup.

Why We Love It: The blue cup is shaped for small mouths, weighted at the bottom, and silicon for easy gripping. The straw cup is great because it’s easy to use, spill-proof, and the straw is weighted, so even if M turns it uptown drink it, the bottom of the straw shifts to the liquid and it works.
link | link

No. 1 Stuffy

You know what’s weird? A baby who loves a stuffed octopus. But he’s cute. We named him Cal. He’s dropped a few ranks in recent months. Right now her favorite is actually a stuffed unicorn that was made to be a dog toy but now lives life as a two-year-old’s sleep buddy. Fortunately, we removed the squeaker so it’s less enticing to the dogs.

Why We Love It: Cal is easy to grab, easy to chew, and easy to wash.

Shopping Cart Cover

I registered for this before C*VID was a thing but holy cow has it been helpful since the plague began.

Why We Love It: It definitely gives me peace of mind in the store AND it catches all the crumbs/toys/sippy cups M drops while we’re shopping. Plus, it’s cute.

Wet Bags

Originally purchased because we did cloth diapering, they’ve since been invaluable for many reasons. The big pocket is water-proofed and there is a smaller front pocket for other items. Plus the patterns are so dang adorable.

Why We Love It: These are great for dirty or wet clothes and bathing suits. They’re awesome to carry around while potty training. (I put extra clothes in the front zipper and anything that has been spoiled in the w.p. pouch.) They’re cute and they wash up so well!

*I do not put mine in the dryer and they look like new. We started using them back in M’s newborn days.

Little Lamb Hat

First of all, my child actual kills me with how cute she is in this hat. That alone is reason to buy it for the child in your life.

Why We Love It: But really… there’s nothing cuter. And also it’s comfy and warm, easy to slide over their heads, and semi-difficult for them to remove while you’re turned away for 0.03 seconds.

Closet Sorter

This item is 100% unnecessary but my eyes and brain loved them so much. Plus, you have a TON of baby clothes to sort through in those first two years and these help.

Why We Love It: They’re easy to hang in the closet, they keep clothes organized, and they’re cute. If you’re obsessed with order and organization, they’re fantastic.

Admittedly, this is not my most exciting blog post, but I do swear by these items. And when I go to baby showers or recommend items to friends, these are always on my list.

Like I said, if you decide to get something from the list, pretty please use the links up there 😊 But if you don’t, I’ll forgive you and we can still be friends.

Do you have any must-haves for toddlerhood? I’m deep in the trenches and always looking for ways to keep my sour patch kid happy and safe.