Wednesday, July 5, 2017

What I'm Reading

Hey, friends!  Hope you had a Happy 4th of July yesterday.  We had a great time - sunny weather, fun with family and friends and I'll have a recap ready to share with you on Friday.  Today, I've got some great reads to share with you. I read several books and tons of blog posts this month.

I hope you can find some new favorites in my list of things to read:

Best Books:

How to Win Friends & Influence People 
by Dale Carnegie
I have been hearing amazing things about this book for YEARS!!  I purchased it a few years ago and finally got around to reading it this month.  It was VERY interesting and I loved how a book written in 1936, revised in 1981 could still be so relevant today.  I loved hearing stories of presidential encounters with people, stories of famous people dealing well with people and learning tips to be able to really interact well with others.  I think this book would be really interesting for anyone in management or anyone in customer service.  I learned a lot about how to deal with people and companies and the book gives you tons to think about.  I love the emphasis in praise, listening attentively, honesty, giving authentic feedback to people and the important of compliments.  There were great one liners throughout and I think that everyone would benefit from reading this book.

As Southern As It Gets 1.071 Reasons to Never Leave the South
By H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
I posted all about As Southern As It Gets last week!  It was a fun read for summer.

Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy: Making Room for Your Soul in An Overcrowded Life
By Nicole Johnson
I loved the idea of the book Creative Calm in the Center of Crazy by Nicole Johnson.  It seems like everyone would benefit from more calming in their days.  I was disappointed in the slow start to the book.  I struggled to relate to Part one of the book where Johnson was detailing her story without giving many details and it was very slow to wade through.  Part two was more interesting and applicable giving ideas for actually creating calm in your own life.  Part three was definitely the best part of the book!  I really enjoyed it and wished there would have been much more written on the boundaries, keys and calm sections.  These pages were filled with interested research, quotes and tons of helpful application to real life.  I loved her thoughts on boundaries with technology, getting your entire family on board with creating calm and setting yourself up for a life filled with being in the moment, gratitude and calm.  I'd recommend this book, but be sure to tell the reader that the best content is at the end of the book.
*I was gifted this book from Booklook in exchange for my honest review of it.

Best Blog posts:

A Week's Worth of Meals.  If my kids were older I'd definitely have them be in charge of making lunches for the family.  I LOVE Stephanie's ideas on mothering and her activities to teach her kids at home.  She really teaches them skills that will serve them so well when they are older.

I thought this article on delaying Kindergarten was really interesting.  Especially since Olive is starting K next year.  I hate the idea that K has basically become first grade and is no longer focused on play, social interaction, having fun while learning and wish it was still half day.  If Kindergarten Wasn't So Much Like First Grade, We Wouldn't Need to Delay It.

A Farmhouse Table is on my kitchen wish list so I loved seeing Kelly's new table along with the plans.  One day I'll have one...

Our 50 Favorite Picture Books was a great list of books!  I loved seeing their favorites and added several to my wish list for our family.  What is your favorite picture book for kids?

The Email She Never Wanted to Write and Neither Do I was a great read on Christian marriage.  It was written after Lysa Terkeurst's recent announcement about her marriage.  I've loved Lysa and Proverbs 31 Ministries for a long time and enjoyed many of her Bible studies/books.  I hate to hear of her hardship and this article really helped me to see the importance of praying for other people's marriages.

Easy All American Supper by April sounded delicious.  I'm not usually a meatloaf fan and I've never tried to make mashed cauliflower, but both sound amazing!

I really love this 2 Step Bun from Kate @ The Small Things Blog and it makes me want to cut some shorter layers the next time I go in for a trim.

If Your Husband Does These 10 Things, You Hit the Jackpot.  I think this article goes both ways and was a good reminder to me of all the areas that I could work for my husband.  I think I could work on #3, #4 and #5.

Favorite Kid books:
We've updated our weekly book check out amount to 16.  Fletcher picks out some board books, Olive picks out a few books that catch her eye and then I pick out some books I think they'd both like.  It works out great for our daily book club and then we return the books at the end of the week.  I have loved getting into a good routine of checking out books for the kids.  We keep them in a special spot in our house and we do our book club there every day.  The kids know the books have to stay there and enjoy them all week long.  Here are our top picks from each week:

Olive is obsessed with Madeline.
How to Grow a Friend came highly recommended and was a darling book on friendship
The Play-Doh books are always a hit.
Counting Cars was tons of fun and each page was filled with things to name and count.
Mouse Shapes we loved naming shapes and we really enjoy this series of mouse books.

Pancakes, Pancakes! was a cute Eric Carle book that was new to us.
Fancy Nancy is always a great read.
Counting Christopher was a cute book about counting things everywhere you go.
Dinosaur Train was a funny read about bedtime.
Day Dreamers gave us tons to talk about for dreams.
Madeline and The Cats of Rome was really cute.
Everywhere Babies was a really neat book.  Amazing illustrations and so much to talk about on each page.  It was almost like an I spy of people.

Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go To Sleep was a great bedtime story.
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! was funny, catchy and silly to read.
The Girl and The Bicycle was AMAZING!  It's a WORDLESS book so we really enjoyed checking out the expressions and the illustrations to tell our own story each time.  It's amazing how the author/illustrator was able to tell the entire story without words.  Olive loved this book and was fascinated by the fact that there weren't any words.
Trouble Gum was a hilarious tale of the troubles of bubble gum.
Demolition was a fun read to name all of the big equipment.
This Little President was a great book to introduce Olive to some of the former presidents.  She was really curious about their stories and facts about them.

What have you been reading lately??

It's time to link up for What We're Reading Wednesday.
Join us with all the things you read in June.


  1. I have read a lot about the way they treat K now days and it just makes me so sad too. It's supposed to be low pressure and fun. What a shame. I have also read that it really doesn't matter when kids start reading, they won't be ahead or behind by waiting. I think it said somewhere around 2nd grade they either will be where they are whether they start at 4 or 6. Great list of posts and books Whitney.

  2. I love to read kid books sometimes while I'm in the book store, and sometimes it's a struggle to read them without crying haha!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  3. My parents recommend Dale Carnegie's book to everyone! Maybe I need to finally pick it up!

  4. I went to a conference last year hosted by Lysa Terkeurst, which means I witnessed her sharing Christ with us while her life was unraveling. Since the news broke of her marriage, I have really been amazed by seeing the good and bad in all situations. While going through the worst part of her life, Lysa shared the good in Christ. I want to be more like that. Share the good, regardless of the bad.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I love seeing what other people are reading. I LOVE the Madeline books, and the movie.


  6. My dad manages two Dale Carnegie training centers, so he'd be very proud of your first book, haha.


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Smiles, Whitney