books & reading tag

My Blog’s Name in Books: A Book Tag.

book tag header

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a book tag. I try not to jump on every band wagon because I sometimes feel like I just talk about the same books over and over again and that’s probably not very fun for you – but I found this fun tag at A Book. A Thought and decided to give it a whirl.


1.  Spell out your blog’s name with one line for each letter.

2. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. You cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodread’s TBR. (NOTE: I don’t maintain a TBR on Goodreads that’s relevant so I’m going to use the many unread books on my Kindle – which is it’s own special kind of book shaming.)

3. Have fun!  

M|atchmaking For Beginners by Maddie Dawson


O|nly Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill


M|y Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella


M|y Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall


A|rranged by Catherine McKenzie


B|urn for Burn by Jenny Han


L|ittle Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan


O|ne Plus One by Jojo Moyes


G|irl Logic by Iliza Shlesinger


S|tories I’d Tell In Bars by Jen Lancaster


A|lex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz


L|ife in Motion by Misty Copeland


O|ne Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin


T|his is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare by Gabourey Sidibe


For the record, I am now a little jealous of people with short & sweet blog names. For reals. I’m not going to TAG anybody since I wasn’t tagged to begin with but if you are reading this and feeling like, “Awww Nuts! Nobody ever tags me!” well then CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED, BABY!

family fun photography printable

Summer Vacation Begins! (plus: a free printable weekly planner)


Today was their last day of school and honestly we couldn’t be more ready. Don’t get me wrong, we had a pretty terrific school year. The kids learned a lot and made some great memories and I hit a pretty stellar balance of being a Super Volunteer Mom without feeling like Overburdened Mom-Martyr Person. BUT.

We are ready for late mornings, lazy afternoons, no homework, video game marathons, swim lessons, no homework, summer reading, family vacation, no homework… you get the idea. Mostly it’s the sleeping in that I’m looking forward to, tbh. I bet you can guess what my kids are looking forward to most.


I decided to dive into Summer Vacation Mode with a new weekly calendar layout:

weekly planner grid

This is how I organize our days each week and plan our dinners. I print out a copy and laminate it so I can use dry erase markers on it – and it works really well! I keep mine on my fridge for easy access. They usually last me about a year before they stop erasing well, which is about how long I can usually go before I want to redesign it anyway.

The format is intentionally pretty minimal apart from the splashy background which I found to be surprisingly easy to write over without looking too busy. Perfect for laid back summer days but I honestly feel it will be sufficient for the school year, too. Feel free to save the image and print it out for your own organizing needs.

Okay so how many days are left until summer vacation starts at your house?

What are you looking forward to most this summer?


books & reading family fun printable summer reading

Summer Reading 2018: Choose Your Own Adventure (Free Printable)

A couple of years ago I started making summer reading challenges for my kids because I found the programs at the library a little lacking / redundant for a family of bookworms. My kids don’t need encouragement to read in the summer so keeping track of pages and titles seemed unnecessarily tedious for us and not really a challenge tbh. No shade, I think the programs are a great idea for kids who need that encouragement, it just wasn’t my jam personally.

This was back in 2016 – I read this post at Kate’s blog and was like YES. I had to copycat and create a challenge for my own kids – and thus our Summer Reading Bingo was born. It went over really well with my kids. You can steal mine or make your own if you want – just click this link.

Last year I felt the need to simplify the challenge because of a particularly busy summer and probably just because I like change. So I made a summer reading challenge that fit on a bookmark! This was great for a busy summer and my kids loved it, too. Again, feel free to go steal that one if you need something super quick.

This year, I continue to need to shake things up because I have too much time on my hands or something. I was thinking about those Choose Your Own Adventure novels from when I was a kid  – did you love them, too? I was also thinking about how sometimes kids need to feel like they are in control – they don’t want to be told what to read or even what genres to read. We all like to make our own choices, right?

And so, I present to you our reading challenge for 2018:

I’m pretty excited and just in case you are hoping to shake up your summer reading, too – feel free to steal my idea – you can right click and save this or make your own in a word document – or, my fave place to make cute graphics. (This isn’t some sneaky sponser post btw – they have no idea who I am, I’m just sharing and caring like that.)

Do you do summer reading challenges with your kids?