summer reading : 2016

2016 summer reading

Those who know me well may gasp at this reading list, what with all the fiction. It honestly wasn't a conscious choice at first, but rather a reflection of the vibe of life right now. If I had to sum it up, I'd say it's less the frantic pace of improve, learn, grow and more a cadence of be present, enjoy, savor.

I culled these choices from a variety of places - my own Good Reads list, Modern Mrs. Darcy Kindle deals & summer reading guide, and my Net Galley queue. 

Up from the Blue | Life from Scratch | Euphoria | Modern Lovers | The Girls | It Was Me All Along | The Year We Turned Forty | The Universe Has Your Back

What are you reading this summer?

hello june 2016

image from's somehow June. 

hello travel & travel planning. It's a constant, and that's good. Currently heading to Los Angeles for few days - a mix of business & pleasure. NYC soon, Vegas in a few weeks. We even starting to book end-of-year travel that involves sunshine & drinks with little umbrellas. #winning

hello pneumonia. Not so good. I stopped in at Urgent Care on my way to work last week, suspecting that I might have strep throat. Turns out, I have pneumonia. I finished the prescribed round of antibiotics, and now I'm on to my preferred "brand" of medicine - acupuncture, chinese herbs, and supplements. 

hello summer reading. I picked up a Kindle Paperwhite recently, to make reading a bit more travel-friendly. I'm scouring all the summer reading lists from my favorite blogs, and putting together a pared-down list of my own. 

hello mornings on the deck. It's finally warm enough to enjoy our coffee on the deck. Hooray!! We get some funny comments from neighbors about our "leisurely" start to the day. We're grateful that we both have somewhat flexible schedules. 

hello meyer lemon tree. I'm fascinated by the prospect of growing lemons indoors. Our little meyer lemon tree should arrive in a few days. It will enjoy the summer outside, and the winter next to our big windows. 

hello creating a home together. We're making progress toward our space feeling like our space rather than his & her space. It feels good.

hello hannibal. We're making our way through the series on Amazon, and omg...there are some nights that I won't walk to the bedroom w/o Dan. So many psycho stories! 

what are you saying hello to this month?


florida : may 2016

After Disney, we headed to The Villages to spend the week with Dan's Mom. It was an easy week of pool time, golf cart adventures, and catching up. Perfect.

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I have a thing for pineapple palms. We spent one morning on the golf cart finding our favorites. Mackie is an excellent palm spotter.


We also spotted this crazy specimen. 


And a bird for my brother!

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We spent several mornings at the pool. Wilder has turned into quite the fish.


He is not a fan of the words "it's time to go!".

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This girl is always on the lookout for geckos. 


This guy is a little too impatient for geckos. 


Dan & I went out on the town a couple of nights. He's becoming well-known in karaoke bars in the Villages.


It was a wonderful week filled with love & laughter. xoxo


the more of less : joshua becker

ThemoreoflessDan and I don't live a completely minimalist lifestyle, but we do make a concerted effort to have less stuff. When we moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 4 bedroom house, we promised each other that we wouldn't fill every space. We're thoughtful about what we buy, and prioritize the experience of living over the materialism of living.

I've been a fan of Joshua Becker for quite a while...we actually met at a book signing (for another author) several years ago. I have always found his writing to be honest & approachable,and this book is consistent with his blog voice. I will admit that I don't recall as many religious references on the blog...but I do appreciate that Joshua is upfront about their inclusion in the book. This is a handy refresh of what minimalism is (and can be) about....

Check out Joshua's blog here, and his book here

And in the spirit of having less stuff, leave a comment if you'd like me to pass this book on to you! First come, first mailed. :)

I received this book through the Blogging for Books program. I was not compensated for this review, and all opinions expressed are my own.


disney : may 2016

We spent last week in Florida with the Littles...kicking off the week with a day at Disney. We intentionally kept our first foray limited to one park (Magic Kingdom) and one full day (we arrived at 9am and literally carried them out at 10pm). 


Those that know me know that Disney really isn't my thing. I've been to Disneyland a few times, but this was my first time at Disney World. I have to's still not my thing...but we did have a lot of fun! 

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(Double stroller rental = best $30 ever spent)

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Thankfully, the park wasn't super crowded, and it was a beautiful day.

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Both kids loved the Barnstormer roller-coaster. Dan may or may not have screamed like a girl


McCartney declared Space Mountain "no joke!," and Wilder loved the Buzz Lightyear ride. 


One happy little girl.

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a marvelous mother's day weekend


FRIDAY - Yes, we pretty much celebrated an entire weekend around here...and it was marvelous. We kicked it off with a May Day Celebration at McCartney's preschool on Friday. It was spectacularly sunny, and the smiles on the kids' faces made the event even brighter. 


SATURDAY - I enjoyed coffee on the deck. Our view of the lake is definitely at a distance...but it close enough to be a reminder that the ice is gone! 


Dan worked for a bit, and I went to a fascinating Yoga & Tarot class - super inspiring, and a great explanation of the Journey of the Fool. When I finished up class, Dan & I stopped in at Firebird Cafe for lunch - one of those little local gems that we've passed a million times but never stopped at. Delicious! We ended the day with a neighborhood (belated) Cinco de Mayo party -

MdaygiftSUNDAY - Dan & Austin collaborated on an awesome gift - a beautiful teapot set, wrapped in the most amazing Wonder Woman handmade giftwrap. Look at that title detail! And can you even stand the precise signatures from McCartney??

Mdaygifts(ps. We don't draw a distinction between Mother's Day & step-Mother's Day. We talk a lot about different types of Moms in our house...birth Moms, Moms, step/bonus-Moms. ALL Moms are celebrated!)

ScoutdanAfter a pretty decadent Sunday brunch at The Spot (with Austin & Dan), Dan & I did a little shopping...and then indulged in smoked maple lattes at Scout & Company. I managed to get an episode of Grey's Anatomy & a quick nap (I'm a terrible napper), and chatted with my birthday girl. We ended our evening in Burlington at a performance of the Spielpalast Cabaret.

This marked my 24th Mother's Day, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best yet. You've set the bar pretty high, Mr. Holtz....

(yes, I realize that I neglected to get photos with any of the kids - will have to remedy that!!)

2016 project life : february & march

That's right...I'm skipping January for now. It was a big month with my birthday & our Mexico trip, so I want to take a little more time sorting out what to do with it. "Catching up" on February & March was relatively simple. I ensured that photos were downloaded from my camera & my phone, I scrolled through Facebook as a reminder of what we were doing, and then quickly put the pages together. I'll add in a summary of each month in 6x6 inserts. 


February was highlighted by Mackie's 5th birthday, a day trip to the Eric Carle museum, and our surprise engagement! I may add in the kids' Valentines, and will definitely add in the card that Dan gave me the night we got engaged. 


Highlights from March included our move, a trip to California, an extended visit from Hope, and the Landmark Advanced Course. Oh, and the Easter Bunny, of course! 

I'm keeping it very fluid this year - I may do some months as a highlights-only spread, while others may be more in-depth. One thing that I'm not doing is including Week Numbers. That will allow me to focus less on exactly when something happened, and more on what happened. 

the jagged path

Jagged path

"Believe in the integrity and value of the jagged path. We don't always do the right thing on our way to rightness."

Cheryl Strayed, Brave Enough

April had it's fair share of jagged paths. There were times that tensions ran high & patience wore thin. And then, as if to add insult to (literal) injury...I'm ending the month with a strained muscle in my back. Those who have known me for any length of time know how hard-fought my journey to be pain free has been. Landing squarely back in the thick of it is disappointing & discouraging. Needless to say...I'm not sad to see April go. I'm planning on a weekend of laughter with friends, relaxing with my favorite guy, a few creative projects (I promise, Louise!), and a few...uhm...medicinal beverages. What are you up to?


hello april 2016


And just like that...another month has gone by. I often think that I should just throw in the blogging towel...and then I think "nah, not just yet." Here's what I'm saying hello to this month...

hello to the final night of The Advanced Course - Dan & I weren't able to attend the final night in Los Angeles, so we're headed to Montreal tonight to join Landmark friends for an awesome night of possibilities. (next up? the Communication Course: Access to Power)

hello to winter hanging on by a bitter thread. Not loving this weather.

hello to gratitude for family & friends who stood for us while we stood for what is best for our family.

hello to the first of many #partyatthepalace events! One of the many things that we love about our house is how entertaining-friendly it is. We hosted our first cocktail party on Friday night - so much fun!

hello to saying goodbye to the 5.5lbs that kept me warm through winter. 

hello to a short break from biz travel, and lots of plans for spring & summer trips.

hello to THREE for a certain little man in my life. 

hello to new books - The More of Less and Born for This.

hello to all the tulips & daffodils. Thank you, Trader Joes!

What are you saying hello to this month?