Getting cozy

The weather is finally turning here after having almost summer like temperatures persisting well past their season. The mornings are colder, the evenings have a bite, and it all makes me want to get all snuggly and cozy in my home, like some little squirrel. I see our neighborhood squirrels hopping and digging and searching out their food stores, getting ready to snug down for the winter. And I am getting us all ready too, maybe not quite for winter yet, but definitely for autumn coziness.

Drinking: My husband remarked the other night as we were settling down for the evening that it was getting to be tea season, and he is totally right. Our iced teas become hot teas this time of year, and I usually start placing our tea orders to have a ready supply on hand for these chilly nights. I will pick stuff up when I am at the store of course, but we have some favorites that I like to keep around. I love the Breakfast in Paris tea with its lavender notes and the refreshing mint of Moroccan Mint from Stash, while Billy is all about the Earl Greyer from Republic of Tea. I think Wyatt is going to try tea this year too. My grandma used to give my cousin and I weak tea heaped with milk and sugar and I felt so special. Maybe I will try that too with him this year, just a little taste of tea. If we are out and about on the weekends, we like to treat ourselves to London Fog Lattes at Starbucks. So worth keeping as a treat! We splurged last weekend and picked two up before we went to the bat festival.

Wearing: Sweaters of course!! I usually hit up the thrift stores looking for their softest, most comfortable looking sweaters to lounge about in, but Target has a cardigan that looks super comfy that I plan on picking up on one of my next Target runs (embarrassingly I usually hit up Target once a week..) and Modcloth has a fox sweater that I absolutely need.. Although I do need help with leggings – I don’t really own any and maybe I need to get a pair? Any suggestions?

Using: Blankets! I have had to pull all of our extra blankets out of storage and get them ready to throw on when needed. We have our heirloom quilts that my great-grandmother and my friend’s great-grandmother made, in our bedroom for those afternoon naps, and a few random throw blankets we have picked up as the years have passed. We are such throw blanket people though that we are thinking of splurging on a blanket from Sackcloth and Ashes – although we are undecided between Camp Forest and Camp Lake. We still have our quilt that we use as a picnic blanket but I am thinking about getting one that is more all weather since the ground is a bit colder and I want to continue with some picnics into fall. We are also burning candles again. I don’t usually burn candles in spring and summer, but fall and winter call for candles. The glow of their light is as warming as the heat from the flame, and add to the ambiance of coziness. (and so very hygge, remember hygge? I still swear by its principles) I don’t have any particular brands that I stick with, I just pick them up as we are shopping (probably at Target! lol) but I go for woodsy or apple, cinnamon, or pumpkin scented ones. Yum! Wyatt loves to help me pick them and smells them all, wrinkling his little nose so cutely.

Reading: I am such a seasonal reader. It is so hard for me to read a book that doesn’t fit my mood or the season. So this time of year I read cozy mysteries like Barbara Michaels and the one I just read by Eva Gates, thrillers and scary books, non-fiction that feels like autumn to me. I also turn to comfort reads, like the Little House series and Harry Potter. I read to Wyatt Halloween and fall books, we talk about the leaves and pumpkins and animals and how they get cozy just like us, all snug in a bug and safe and sound.

Because isn’t that how cozy feels? Safe and sound and like being wrapped in a hug.

Some short and quick book reviews!

Hey all! I just wanted to share some short and quick thoughts on a few of the books I read this month!

ghostland

First up, Ghostland. This book was not quite what I expected, but I still liked it. It was definitely as it says in the title, more about the history than the ghost story. I found some of Dickey’s insights very interesting, especially concerning the country’s turbulent history with race, and how he feels that even impacts ghost stories. It was definitely an interesting read, although it did feel a bit long.

city of ghosts

City of Ghosts: This middle grade book was a delight to read! It was appropriately scary for the age level, and the book itself was pretty cool, even for me. I loved the whole premise, and definitely the location. I really liked that Schwab was able to work the definitions of the British/Scottish slang or language into the story without it being obtrusive. What a great idea for kids who read this book who may not be familiar with certain terms. (adults too!) Definitely a book I would have purchased for our library collection when I was working at the library. ( I used to work/run an elementary school library)

spellbook

Spellbook of the Lost and Found : I loved this book. It was a quiet book, a slow burner of a book, that works on you bit by bit. It’s not splashy. And it was so good! There were some twists and turns that I never expected, and I wanted to just keep reading to find out what the heck was going on! I thought the premise was unique as well. Overall, I really liked this read.

I didn’t get as much reading done as I wanted to this month, but life throws curve balls sometimes doesn’t it. Lol. And tomorrow is Halloween already! My favorite holiday of the year! It looks like we will be homebound, as kiddo is just getting over a fierce cold as is my husband, but I also love handing out candy. They are predicting rain though, so..it might be a pretty slow trick or treat night. Good thing I bought candy that I like….

Two Mini-Reviews: Where the Fire Falls and Dear Bob and Sue

It’s a rainy, dreamy, dreary morning here, but I’ve got my coffee and I am ready to review!

where the fire falls Where the Fire Falls is a book I picked up because I loved the first in this Vintage National Park series so much. I am a huge fan of National Parks, the wilderness, and throw in the vintage aspect and I am there. This book did not disappoint either. Olivia looks and acts the part of the oh so glamorous flapper, a good time girl and artist trying to make it big. She gets the offer of a lifetime when she is sent to Yosemite to paint for a travel magazine – an offer she can’t really refuse, located in the one place she said she would never set foot. Practicality wins, and her trip to Yosemite turns out to be a life changer, especially after meeting rugged, handsome outdoorsman Clark – who also happens to be a former minister. If you are apprehensive about reading a book with a little bit of religion, this book is a good one for you. The religious aspects are very well done, not super in your face, and fit the book and the scenery, settled into the beauty and majesty that is Yosemite. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! And seriously, isn’t this cover awesome?

dear bob and sue

Since we are talking National Parks, let’s talk about Dear Bob and Sue. Can I just fangirl a second? I totally loved this book!  It was chock full of real life moments, a real life relationship, adventure, laughter, and I learned lots of things along the way. Parts of the book made me laugh out loud, others made me think, and all of the time sparked my own wanderlust and desire to visit all of these parks as well! I learned so much, it inspired me to learn more about the places I read, and it certainly expanded my own to-do list. I highly recommend this book to anyone else who loves the outdoors and hiking and travel.

R.I.P. Readers Imbibing Peril #13

RIP 13

 

This is my favorite time of the year, where we wave goodbye to summer and ease our way into cooler weather, bonfires, apple orchards, pumpkins, cold weather clothes, and crunchy leaves.   Oh yeah, and lets not forget yummy coffee drinks and hard cider! I simply love autumn and Halloween, and I am excited to participate in this challenge again!
The purpose is simple – read a book
or books from one of these types:
Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
And to have fun!
There are a few different ways to participate as well!
Peril the First: Read four books from the previously mentioned classifications.
Peril the Second: Read two books from the types.
Peril the Third: Read one book. 
Peril of the Short Story: Read some spooky short stories – E.A. Poe or Shirley Jackson would do!
Peril on the Screen: Something on a screen large or small, a movie or a television show, that is seasonally appropriate! 
Peril of the Review: Submit any short review that you have written 
I intend to tackle Peril the First, and read four books and also Peril of the Screen, especially once October is here. I love a good spooky movie (or two or three..)
I am not positive yet on what books I will be reading for the whole challenge, but to start things off I will be reading these two this month for sure:
Any “spooktacular” recommendations? 

What Wyatt’s Reading: August Wrap Up

What

Happy Read a Book Day!

It has been a long time since I posted one of these, and I figured today would be a great day to celebrate some of the books Wyatt and I have been reading. We read so many books over the summer! Wyatt loves to read, I have stashes of books for him all over the house for him to pull out and look through. He is so cute, he will riffle through the pages, point to pictures, and say, “Oooh mom, ooh!” My reader’s heart loves that he loves books. These are some of the top winners that we read together in August.

These were a few that we particularly loved last month. Wyatt went everywhere for a while carrying Eric Carle’s Do You Want to Be My Friend, and also really loved Big Bear, Small Mouse and The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. I remember loving Eric Carle as a kid too, it is so neat to see that Wyatt really enjoys him as well. I loved Full Moon Lore and An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth, especially the latter. I think these will all have to be added to our permanent collection! Full Moon Lore just was so informative, and I loved the accompanying pictures, while Extraordinary Ordinary Moth was a wonderful story about finding beauty in the ordinary. I loved it to pieces. We bought Flowers Are Calling while we were on vacation, and that is another really cool book. The illustrations were beautiful, and it was full of interesting facts. I even learned a thing or two – like some flowers have caffeine and bees enjoy it! Being a coffee addict myself, I totally get it bees!

We have already kicked off September with quite a few reads, and in the past two days 9 of our holds have come in at the library, so we will be reading a whole lot more.

Any picture books on here that you have read, either with a child or as a child? What were some of your childhood favorites?

The Sunday Post/It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date
Hi guys! It is my first book post over here, rather than on Quixotic Magpie. I think it will be much easier to keep everything on the same page, if you will…
We just got back from a family vacation in Northern Michigan, one of my favorite places on Earth. Michigan is truly beautiful, with so many different landscapes. We had a great time and I have some of our adventures to share with you later this week!
We did have a slight hiccup when we got home though. My husband’s car caught fire as he was driving it through a construction zone on I-75 through Detroit. It was pretty terrifying to hear about, but he is completely fine. He is a quick thinker and managed to stop the car and get to safety. The car is gone but that is ok. The firefighters on the scene think it was an electrical fire that started somewhere.
IMG_20180808_090505551
On to the books!
Read Last Week:
These two books were delightful! I especially loved The Late Bloomers’ Club. I love a small town, and Guthrie was just the type I would love to live in.
Reading This Week:
As August starts to come to an end, I find myself being pulled in the direction of more fall reading. The weather here is still summer, but I am beginning to dream of autumn. I see the pumpkin beer and cider on the store shelves, the Halloween decor, the cooler nights, and I can’t wait! Fall is definitely my favorite season, and I am so looking forward to jeans and sweater weather.
I am really enjoying The Hawkweed Prophecy! I received the second book in the series as a review book, and checked this first one out from the library to read before I started it. And I love it. And Dear Bob and Sue is a pick for one of my online book clubs. I am looking forward to reading it – I am hoping for a A Walk in the Woods type feel!
Watching:
Insatiable which has a very 90s feel that I love, Red Oaks on Amazon Prime, Orange is the New Black, and the newest season of Death in Paradise. ( I love that show!)
How about you all? What has been going on with you?
Also, I don’t know why this post is all squished when I didn’t type it that way. Any ideas? Thanks!

What Wyatt’s Reading: April Wrap Up

What

April in Michigan is usually pretty crazy weather wise – this April was seriously the weirdest that I can remember! In ten days, we had a snowstorm, rain, hail, an 80 degree day, and even an earthquake! That last one was just for additional proof that nature goes nuts in Michigan in April. Lol. So for Wyatt’s reading we focused a lot on weather books. It is not all we read about, but we did do a lot of springtime weather books. And then turtles and fire trucks and ducks and bugs because he likes those things, they are some of his favorites.

 

  Wyatt really loved Raindrop, Plop. I had to read that over and over. He also loved BooBoo, another favorite. I loved Here in the Garden, it was an absolutely beautiful book about loss and how someone you love can stay with you in all the memories you have together. But be prepared, I cried every single time I read it!!

 bug hotel

Which brings us to Bug Hotel – Wyatt’s favorite book of them all. I have read this countless times to him and he plays with it independently as well, since it is lift the flap. I have taken it with us to restaurants and out visiting friends, and it completely occupies him. He loves it so much I bought him a bug hotel of his own! I am not really looking forward to seeing bugs all the time, but I know they provide important services to our planet – except ticks and slugs. What do they do, I want to know. Lol.

And if any of you have kids that watch Spirit, that little horse there is Chica Linda, who is apparently Wyatt’s favorite horse too. Lol.

How about you? Read any good kids books lately?

April Book Club

Bottle of WineBook Club

Chrissy was our hostess this month, and the book we read was The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton – and I loved it.

It was a full house this time, with all of us able to go. We all loaded up our plates with pizza and cheese and bread, filled up our wine glasses, and took our places in the living room, where we admired Chrissy’s new couch. It has a “cuddler” feature, which juts out just a bit more, making it so you can curl up with a book or a toddler or cuddle with your sweetie while watching a movie. It was very comfy! But made us all super anxious – we were all paranoid of being clumsy and spilling our pizza or wine on it! I don’t think Kelly set her drink down all night!

Whenever we get together there is the normal chatter, catching up on this and that and the other. We talked about our kids – over the years we have all become moms! We talked about Jill’s upcoming wedding, Chrissy’s plans for their house, Alyssa’s job; about our families, our pets. What we have been up to since last month. It was a gorgeous night out, spring might be finally here (fingers crossed, it’s been such a long winter!), so we had the setting sun behind us as we drank and ate and talked and laughed.

the hideaway

We finally arrived at the book. I loved this book, I read it so fast. It was one I read whenever I could get a chance, waiting to pick up my son, before bed, sometimes while brushing my teeth. I have to say, it was a little sad. The story begins with workaholic Sara Jenkins learning that her grandmother has died – a grandmother that she never really made much time to go and visit, a grandmother who raised her when her parents died, a grandmother who was her only family member. Sara reluctantly heads back to her small hometown, away from her life in New Orleans, which really isn’t much of a life, as she lives for work and not much else, for the reading of the will and to tie up loose ends.

Instead, she gets much, much more.

She learns so much about her grandmother, a woman who embarrassed Sara when Sara was a teenager because of her eclectic ways. Sara though, begins to know the woman her grandmother really was, and the story of their home, an old B&B that was no longer much of a B&B, aptly named The Hideaway. Sadly, Sara missed out on knowing her grandmother when she was alive, which made me a bit teary. Pay attention to your family while they are here, darn it! Don’t take loved ones for granted. Talk to them, learn their best stories.

The Hideaway itself was in actuality, a bit of a real hideway for Mags. And it made me think, what my hideaway would be like – not to go forever, but maybe a weekend. Or a place to go with my family, away from everything for a bit. I am a mountains girl – I am all about the foggy mornings and evenings in the mountains, looking out at a forest of old trees, the light streaming through the leaves. So for me, a perfect hideaway would be in the woods of the mountains somewhere, a cabin all cozy and snug. Chrissy is a beach girl through and through, so is Jill. Take those ladies to a beach house, a sandy spot with the sun warming them, and the salt heavy in the air, the sound of waves crashing, the water whispering at night.

My little niece Chickadee slipped down from the upstairs where my brother was hanging out with her while we were all there, and gathered up all her little toy horses to play. She also handed out My Little Pony toys to all of us to hang on to while we were there. I am sure her hideaway would be somewhere with “horsies” and trains, her current favorites. (She is a big fan of Spirit)

Then excitement! My husband called me to ask if I had heard and felt the rumbling – we hadn’t, I guess we were all enjoying our dessert of Turtle Pie too much. There had been an earthquake here in our area – very rare for Michigan! And it was a 3.6! I guess most of our area felt it, pictures shook, it was very loud and rumbly just a few miles further south. Book Club is a powerful force!

Then, all the excitement over, the wine drunk, the chocolate consumed, the chatting slowing down, the insanity of an earthquake, we headed on home to our families until next month.

So, how about you? How do you picture your hideaway?

What Wyatt’s Reading/Book Haul : March

What

I think this is really March part II, but oh well. Lol. Wyatt had a big book month! We are working on the 1000 books before Kindergarten challenge, which is fun for both of us! He absolutely loves books (like his mom!) This is what we read together this month, including books that he received for his birthday! (His own little book haul!)

 

Library List: Booboo by Olivier Dunrea, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. (not pictured Punk Farm)

Birthday Book Haul: Happy, Colorful World: Farm and Forest, Five Stinky Socks, Peep and Ducky Rainy Day, The Little Artists Collection, Seasons, Lift the Flap What Are Stars, and Big Fish Little Fish.

Wyatt’s Favorites: While he pretty much enjoyed them all, he absolutely loved Booboo, The Little Artists Collection (which we have to take with us everywhere), and of course, Five Stinky Socks. To Wyatt, there is nothing funnier on the planet than stinky feet and socks. So that book is one we read over and over. And over. As long as he is listening and loving it though, I will read it as many times as he wants. And Booboo – Wyatt is working on developing language skills, and he immediately said Booboo after reading this book. And would ask for it to be  read again, by name! This was huge for us. Words and sounds are coming faster these days – reading is so good for developing speech, so we make sure to read at least a few books together everyday. We will meet that 1000 book goal sooner than we think!

And if anyone wants to know my favorites from here, I loved Happy by Emma Dodd, The First Sticker Book Nature, and Paul Bunyan. My husband and I love the tall tale of Paul Bunyan, his ox, and those giant pancakes. Happy just makes me happy! Such a sweet book, great for cuddling and reading before bedtime. And the sticker book is amazing! I was so impressed by how cool the stickers look honestly. It is very well done. And seriously, who doesn’t love stickers?

We are already hard at work (hardly work, more like) on our April reading!

What Wyatt’s Reading

What

Reading is huge in our house. I grew up with my nose always in a book, and I read whenever possible now, even if all I have time for is an article or two online. My parents were readers, and now, my son loves to look through books and is always asking me to read them to him. We went to the library tonight and brought home a huge haul! He usually picks a few out, and then I pick some out. Do other parents do this? I can’t help it. I used to work in an elementary school library. I have favorites I want to share. Oh, I guess I answered my own question. We all probably have favorites to share!

Here’s what we checked out:

cecil the peteaster micegnomelittle white rabbitlittlest bunnyminerva louisemy gardenpeas

I did most of the picking out today…Wyatt was exploring the library with his dad, socializing and then looking for me in the stacks. I adore Kevin Henkes, so I had to get these two super springy looking books. And Little Green Peas looks adorable. And I needed to get some Easter ones too, right? Then Wyatt’s birthday is this weekend and his party is gnome themed, so let’s read a gnome book. And finally, Cecil. I saw it on the shelf and was intrigued. It does not look like a typical children’s book. So I checked it out. More for me than the boyo. And I read it immediately when we got home, while making dinner. (just spaghetti, but oh so good spaghetti! Ask me about this later)

I freaking loved Cecil, the Pet Glacier. Loved it. I need to own it. It is so wonderful and different and quirky and not typical, and that is exactly why I love it, and why it is so fantastic! I say read it. Go on, get it. So good.

So the spaghetti. Billy and I usually hate spaghetti, but Wyatt loves it, so we eat it. I have not ever made my sauce (I know, eek right?) which might be why we don’t like it? Although neither of us has ever liked it, even as kids when our parents did make their own sauce. So maybe not. Anyway. I bought Newman’s Own Tomato and Basil Bombolina sauce. It smelled amazing when I popped the top, like summer in a jar with all the basil. That alone was awesome. But then Billy did this trick that he learned on Binging with Babish, a youtube show about cooking. When the noodles were done (we used egg noodles, Wyatt’s favorite), we drained them, then added some butter, and mixed it up. Then slowly, Billy folded in the warmed sauce into the noodles. Finally, we topped it all off with freshly grated parmeasan cheese, and seriously, it was the best spaghetti I have ever eaten in my life.  We both went back for seconds, it was so good. Never before have I enjoyed spaghetti. So thank you Babish.

And wouldn’t you know it? Wyatt hated it. 🙂 Ah. Toddlers.