How to Celebrate the “Icelandic Book Flood” with your family on Christmas Eve.


I think everyone on the internet is familiar with the Icelandic  jólabókaflóð or the Christmas Book Flood. Since WWII, Icelanders began a tradition born of necessity really, in which they exchange books on Christmas Eve and then spend the remainder of the evening reading at home. Obviously the introvert in me is obsessed with all of this. I’m sure that social media has greatly romanticized and exaggerated this holiday but I’m there for it all the same.

This year we are celebrating jólabókaflóð in our home because it’s literally on my birthday and I said so. I ran the idea past my family and the kids were immediately on board. We decided that each person would buy a book for one other person so everyone is both buying and receiving a book.

Since we are a two kids + two adults situation, I decided that the kids would pick out a book for each other and Dan and I would do the same. I encouraged them to go to a used book store for their purchases but otherwise left them to figure out the rest. Dan and I had to take the kids to a bookstore to shop for each other because apparently 9 and 12 year olds can’t drive.

Because I’m literally obsessed with books, naturally I thought I’d share a few suggestions for the book lovers in your life. It’s not too late to pick up a book and start a Christmas book flood in your home, too.

10 Book Suggestions for Your Book Flood

Books for The Littles


Anne of Green Gables: A BabyLit Places Primer because you’ve gotta start them young.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen because it’s one of my all time favorite read alouds.

Books for the Kiddos


Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild because Kathleen Kelly told us to.

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta because “interdimensional demon slayer”.

Books for the Teens


The Only Pirate At The Party by Lindsey Stirling because she’s a classically trained musician gone rogue with a story to tell.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman because Thor and Loki and also Neil Gaiman.

Books for Mom



Becoming by Michelle Obama because we all love her, right?

The Dinner List by Rebecca Searle because we all like to plan imaginary dinner parties.

Books for Dad


Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks because he’s America’s Favorite Dad Type Person.

Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin so he can learn about Targaryen history.

I could go on but I know you’ve got this.

Who else wants to celebrate jólabókaflóð this year?

Gift Guide: For The Bookish Fangirl In Your Life

I could subtitle this: Gifts you should please buy me right now. Is that too on the nose? Sorry not sorry. Whether you are looking to buy a gift for your wife, best friend, sister, or another awesome bookworm in your life who is only mostly a grown up – let this be your guide to winning Christmas.



Taylor Swift’s new CD Reputation is giving me life right now and I’ve only heard three songs. Promising stuff for anyone in the Swift Army.

I think a pretty coffee mug is a safe bet for just about anyone but if you can combine multiple obsessions you have a winner on your hands. I like this Talk Darcy To Me mug from the Bookery Boutique.

Who isn’t a Stranger Things fan these days? Give her front porch a face lift with this awesome Upside Down Welcome Mat from Cloud 9 Craftss.

Lamy Fountain Pens are touted as one of the better affordable fountain pens. Don’t forget some extra ink!

I’ve been coveting the Marrying Mr. Darcy card game for ages but haven’t splurged on it yet. Win Game Night with a sure hit for fans of Pride & Prejudice.


Okay on to the books! These are five books currently at the top of my wish list:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is getting so much attention right now. It’s a National Book Award Longlist title and a #1 New York Times Bestseller. “Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Girl Logic by Iliza Shlesinger aka my favorite comic is perfect for your friend who loves a good celeb memoir / comedic essays. It’s a “collection of essays and observations on a confident woman’s approach to friendship, singlehood, and relationships.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green is one of those titles that all the book bloggers are talking about right now because every bookish person knows to bow before John Green for all eternity. This time is tackling mental illness and also friendship and family. “Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz is basically a home run choice if you are shopping for someone who loves Jane Austen retellings, Christmas, awesome YA authors or even better all of the above. “Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family.” That’s right – this one is swapping the genders of Darcy and Lizzie – so intrigued!

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is perfect for fans of sweet love stories with a twist. ” Eleanor & Park meets Bollywood in this hilarious and heartfelt novel about two Indian-American teens whose parents conspire to arrange their marriage.

And of course if you are concerned they have already read these books or you just aren’t sure which one to choose, bookworms love nothing more than a gift card to their favorite bookstore and a chance to run wild through the stacks!

Mothers Day: 5 Gift Ideas

I don’t know your mother (probably) but I’m guessing she’s the coolest person ever. If you are still trying to come up with the perfect gift idea to spoil her rotten this Mothers Day, here are some ideas to help you get started.

For your mother, who basically owns the kitchen.

61hmsSMgN1L._SL1500_I fell in love with this Stump Tea Pot with Infuser at my local coffee shop where you are given your own little 18 ounce tea pot when you order a cup of tea.

I love this pretty teal blue color – it would look so cheerful in your mother’s kitchen, don’t you think? Pair it with a box of her favorite loose leaf tea and a tea time date with her favorite child – you!

91gfW21yYfL._SL1500_Or maybe your mother is forever chopping herbs and you want to help her speed up dinner prep even when you aren’t there to lend a hand. I’ve been eyeing these herb scissors which can double as craft scissors or mail shredding scissors. Whatever you need to finely chop.

For your mother, who deserves a little bling.

il_570xN.1172098240_iy5rThis family tree necklace by LaLaCrystal would be great for moms or grandmothers. You can add up to 8 initials on a necklace so nobody gets left out. And if your family runs even larger (or a new baby joins the crew) she even sells individual charms to add to a tree.

ac750da7-548c-4ee3-a267-b50506ea1e8d--2017-0213_menu_modern-jewelry-stand_black_mid_mark-weinberg_308If necklaces are kind of your go to mother’s day present, she might like a jewelry tree to organize and display all her favorite pieces. I’ve been thinking about upgrading to a more modern sleek design like this one from Food52.

For your mother, who desperately needs new music for her commute.

a1ft9msmp3l-_sx522_The Hamilton soundtrack might be the closest I get to seeing this insanely popular musical. If you can’t afford to take mom to see it live (or if she’s already seen it and won’t stop singing the songs to you over the phone or something) then this is a nice way to bring Lin Manuel Miranda into her morning commute. Because there is nothing cooler than your mother wrapping about American history. Nothing.

51gYvSDtu2L._SS500Or maybe she’s all about that Top 40 life. All moms love Bruno Mars, okay? Because that smile. And his album is pretty much grinning ear to ear 24/7 kind of music. If your mom lives to dance in the car, this album should do the trick. Fortunately your mother is never embarrassing and you’ll totally be dancing in your seat, too.

For your mother, who would rather be reading.


Mayim Bialik just wrote a book called Girling Up that is sure to excite her. If she doesn’t love Bialik from her role on The Big Bang Theory, she probably remembers her from Blossom. Or maybe she follows her on Instagram or uses her as an example of impressive women in science. Either way, this looks like it will be awesome.

51oGYpSk+pLIf your mom is more into the classic literature scene, she’s probably as obsessed with Anne of Green Gables as I am. If she’s already worked her way through the works of L.M. Montgomery, she might like Lorilee Craker’s book, Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me. “A charming and heartwarming true story for anyone who has ever longed for a place to belong.“Anne of Green Gables,” My Daughter, and Me is a witty romp through the classic novel; a visit to the magical shores of Prince Edward Island; and a poignant personal tale of love, faith, and loss.”

51Beu4ltz-L._SX388_BO1,204,203,200_If your mom is still raising littles and doesn’t have time to read an actual book sized book right now (I feel you) how about a book to read with the kids like How To Raise a Mom by Jean Reagan. This one is sure to bring a smile to her face.

Best enjoyed while curled up on the couch with all of the kids after a day spent not cooking or cleaning anything. Anything. And afterwards there should probably be wine.

For your mother, who is all about family game night.

61YjhY3mbyL._SL1000_Okay so KinderPerfect probably shouldn’t be pulled out for your actual family game night but it would be great to play with her mom friends after the kids go to bed. It’s basically Cards Against Humanity but parenting style. For your mother who never lost her wicked sense of humor.

71Wa1Wyv8kL._SL1001_Or for something a little different, how about Marrying Mr. Darcy because let’s be real, we all wanted to marry Darcy at some point right? Join your mom or mom friends and move through the initial courtship stage and the concluding proposal stage to see who marries Mr. Darcy (it might not be Lizzie!). Already own it? Did you know there is an Emma expansion!


Mommas, what do you want for Mother’s Day this year? Like besides the not cleaning or cooking thing?

Gift Guide: For your middle school nerdling-in-training who eats, sleeps and breathes for Minecraft.

My ten year old was shockingly difficult to shop for this year. He’s at a crossroads between child and tween so he’s not really playing with “toys” like he used to and the stuff he does want is rarely in our price bracket. No lie, the words “a Playstation 4 with four controllers” was on his Christmas list this year. I tried not to laugh too loudly. Dreams are precious, you know.

His seven year old sister is easier – she likes literally everything and had a list of like eleventy million things and counting when I stopped her and said, “Woah, no need to fill the whole page!” The only other items on his list were more Hot Wheels tracks and a Minecraft book. Anyway, I’ve been perusing Amazon for a couple of months now looking for other ideas and I thought I’d share some of my contenders with you in case you have a middle school nerdling of your own to shop for.

The Real Nerdy Stuff.


  1. The Way Things Work Now by David Macaulay is a guide to how basically everything works – the inner workings of everything from windmills to Wi-Fi. This is your future engineer’s dream book.
  2. Shape by Shape is a game by ThinkFun. It has 60 challenges using tannegrams that will sneakily teach your kids conceptual thinking and spatial relationships.
  3. This kid’s telescope is less than $50 – a nice price point for kids that are starting to get into astronomy.
  4. Or perhaps a pocket microscope to slip into their stocking so they can look at all the gory details of that gross thing they found in the backyard.
  5. The Liberty Kids DVD series has insanely great reviews. It’s an animated series about the American Revolution that will make your inner history buff swoon.
  6.  Apparently, what’s old is new again. This little instant camera is basically all over the place. Let your budding photographer experience the world of film cameras with a price point that won’t make you sob.

For Your Master Builders.

  1. masterbuilderThis is something I actually bought my own 10 year old. He fell in love with this Holy Bible for Minecrafters at the school book fair and has not stopped talking about it.
  2. He asked for Hot Wheels tracks and I’m still deliberating between two: the first is a Stunt Kit with a big wheelygig.
  3. I’m also considering this 2 lane launcher so that he and his sister can race against each other.
  4. Dan TDM is apparently a famous Minecraft You Tuber (that’s a thing) and he created this graphic novel based off the world he created in Minecraft. The illustrations look fairly amazing and I’m pretty sure my ten year old would go nuts for it.

Because they  are still kids, too.

  1. funandgamesI cannot stop swooning over this shark victim blanket. Why I’m so enamoured with the idea of my son being eaten by a shark, I don’t know. But I’m pretty sure my tween won’t need me to explain why it’s so awesome.
  2. I’m pretty much obsessed with all variations of Apples to Apples and super intrigued by this Freestyle edition where the players actually come up with their own answers instead of using the traditional noun cards.
  3. Is there anything better than a classic boomerang. This would be  great to tuck into their stocking and there are tons of cool designs on Amazon to choose from.
  4. You can’t go wrong with a video game. And a video game that combines Legos with Super Heroes seems like a sure thing to me. The nearly 5 star rating seems to agree.
  5. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey (he of Captain Underpants fame) seems to be a big hit right now. It would be great for kids of a pretty broad age range – lots of pictures but funny enough that older kids will want to tuck into it, too. We English Major moms can groan about it behind our coffee mugs but any book that makes a kid excited to read is a good book to have in the house.

Gift Ideas: For my kindred spirit ladies.

I’m going to be sneaky and create a gift guide that is basically just a list of presents that I would want. If you know an introverted bookworm who is obsessed with travel, celebrity memoirs and young adult novels, has a handful of small children and still watches tween tv shows sometimes… I got you. Or if you are a friend or relative of yours truly and have a hankering to buy me pretty things… I got you, too.

Here are gift ideas for the wifey, daughter, sister-in-law, bestie or coworker that should probably be my new best friend:

First off, books. Because obviously.


Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham | Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner | Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick | Replica by Lauren Oliver | The Crown by Kiera Cass | After You by Jojo Moyes

There’s always a book I want to read, these are the ones I’m currently ogling at bookstores. Another safe bet is a big ole gift card to Barnes & Noble. Give us an excuse to get lost in those aisles while sipping a holiday latte.

Things For The Kitchen. Broad Description Alert.


Cravings by Chrissy Teigen | Citrus Kitchen Soap from Food52 | ROYCE chocolates NAMA

Don’t buy me a blender or some other device that is designed to trap me in the kitchen and take up too much counter space. Do buy me things that will make being in the kitchen feel a little bit luxurious. Fancy soaps to make doing the dishes a little less hellish. Amazing chocolate that will ruin all other chocolates for me for life (too late, the damage is done). And although asking for a cookbook sounds so cliched, I’ll admit I really want to try out the recipes from Chrissy Teigen’s book.

Music to Embarrass My Kids In The Car With.


Hamilton Soundtrack | Christmas With Jon Batiste | An Evening With Sutton Foster

I think the soundtrack to Hamilton might be the only feasible way for me to experience this phenomenon and any excuse to listen to rap music but still feel holier than thou and elitist and you know I’m on board. It’s this or watching Fresh Off The Boat, really.

We’re big Colbert fans here and so obviously we’ve become fans of Jon Batiste and Stay Human because we do what Stephen tells us to do. I’m always on the hunt for new Christmas music that my husband and I will both enjoy, this seems like a good bet.

And I’ve been a fan of Sutton Foster since Bunheads and now Younger. She’s basically one of the most talented creatures alive and I’m super intrigued by this CD which is kind of broadway and kind of jazzy and sounds kind of awesome.

Things I Couldn’t Categorize Easily.


Parts of Speech Poster | Born Ballet Flats | Marrying Mr. Darcy the Card Game

Ah, the riff raff at the bottom of the list. These have basically no connection to each other except being picked last for dodgeball. Still, these are all pretty high on my wish list and totally a safe bet for making me squeal. This Parts of Speech poster is just begging to be hung in my office. I’m on the hunt for the perfect ballet flats and these pink pretties by Born should probably be my next victim. And I’m so eyeballing this card game hard because it combines two of my favorite things: Pride & Prejudice and gaming. It’s a match made in heaven, really.

This is the part of the post where I say something sentimental about how it’s the spirit of giving that matters and that all I want for Christmas is to spend time with my adorable children and sip a big mug of coffee in proximity to our Christmas Tree and while all that is true, I’ll still totally accept any of the above gifts if you crave spoiling me this year.

The Geeky Gift Guide: For All Your Fandoms


Looking for the perfect gift for that fantastic geek in your life? Here are some awesome things I’ve seen online recently that would make any nerdling squeal with tidings of good joy.

For the Whovian: Hot Topic’s new line of Doctor Who inspired collection is just everything. The Whovians in your life will feel a flutter in both hearts over any of these pieces.

For the shutterbug: The macro cell lens band at Photojojo will take their cell snapshots to a whole new level. Just $15!

For the Austenite: Marrying Mr. Darcy is sure to be their new fave Card Game.

For your friend who keeps saying “Winter is coming!” every time it snows: a Game of Thrones coloring book to tide them over until the next episode. Currently $10.17

For your kids who live and breathe Minecraft: A Minecraft Torch Light and redstone to light up their bedroom when you force them to turn the game off and go to bed already.

For The Potter Fan who always finds the time to Do It All: A Time Turner like Hermione’s from Think Geek so she really can be in two places at once.

For the Bard obsessed doodle bug: Doodling for bookworms will give them something to do when writer’s block hits. Just $12.54 right now.

For your Star Wars bud who needs to step up their decor game: This Star Wars glassware set at Think Geek is gorgeously geeky!

For the girlie who’s by your side at every D&D game: Bling her up with this 20-sided dice necklace at

What’s on your wish list this holiday season?