New Family Heirloom, What I’m Reading, and My Porch Goose

I received the most lovely text from my wonderful cousin, Shari!  The very day that I posted this post mentioning that I was so happy to receive the 1st in the Little House series for my daughter, she texted me that she has the entire series and wanted to give them to me!  How amazing is that?!?  I just love my family so much.  She asked that I keep them in the family and pass them along to my other cousins when my daughter finishes reading them.  Jamie, these are coming to you next and you can then pass them along to Catherine!  Our new family heirloom 🙂

Would any of my local readers like to have this copy?  Just let me know, I’ll put it on my front porch for you. 🙂  If not, I’ll toss this little gem into a Little Free Library!

I find it creepy how the baby was partially edited out in the different covers.  Why not just edit the whole body out?  So weird, lol. 

My porch goose is all ready for winter.  Love.

I will finish reading this book today!  Full blog review coming soon!

So excited to start reading this one next!  It looks amazing.

I’m a huge fan of Rochelle Weinstein both as an author and as a person.  If you haven’t read Somebody’s Daughter yet, I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it.

Happy Friday!  What are you up to this weekend?  Ours will be busy and fun.  My kids have 4 (!) birthday parties, my son has a basketball class, and my husband and I are going to a fancy downtown dinner with his colleagues.  I hope you have a nice weekend!

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate links.  When you order through these links, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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My Best 8 Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Local Library

Libraries are among my very favorite places on Earth to visit.  I may or may not have been known to visit more than 1 location in a day 🙂  I have 8 helpful tips on how to get the most out of your local library experience but first I’d like to highlight some of the many benefits that libraries have to offer.

Obviously the draw to libraries is the vast amount of literature offered.  You can name any topic in the world and the library will have a book (or be able to get a book) about it.  However, libraries offer so much more than just books!

Storytimes

Before I had kids, I dreamed of the day when I would be able to take them to storytime at the library (#booknerd). I’ll never forget when the day finally arrived.  The storytime we attended was specifically for preschool aged kids…and my daughter was 6 weeks old, lol.  Who was the overly excited new mom?!?  I remember walking in with my daughter and couldn’t wait for her to participate in the activities.  Again…she was 6 WEEKS old!  The lady leading storytime was so kind and told me that my daughter and I were more than welcome to be there.  As a new mom who was just excited to be out of the house with my brand new daughter, I was more than excited to stay. So basically I sang songs, listened to stories, and learned new rhymes along with all of the other preschoolers, lol.  My daughter slept through the entire storytime until she made the most gigantic poop in all the land…and of course her newbie mother forgot to bring extra diapers.  Of course!  I was so embarrassed and quickly wrapped her up in a blanket and fled the library without even saying good-bye to all of my brand new preschool friends and their mothers, lol.  Fast forward 7.5 years, another child later…and my kids both love storytime at the library.  AND they are totally age appropriate now which also really helps, lol.

DVDs

Checking out DVDs from the library is always such a treat for my kids! Holiday movies, classic movies, even entire seasons of past television shows (I’m looking at you, Full House and The Cosby Show).  There is such a wide selection of DVDs that the library has to offer.  I love taking advantage of this, especially for my kids.

Quiet Reading Rooms

Both of our local libraries have “Quiet Reading Rooms” where there are fireplaces, comfortable chairs, and…SILENCE.  It’s as dreamy as it sounds and I have spent HOURS in those rooms.  They are glorious.  The first time I discovered this room at one of the libraries, I asked to speak to the director just so I could thank her for the vacation I felt like I was just on in that peaceful room. 🙂

Sick Child?  No Problem!

One of our local libraries has the most amazing service.  You call them, tell them about your sick child’s interests, and within 2 hours they will put together a selection of books and movies that you can pick up at the drive thru to keep your little one entertained!  How awesome is that?!?

Side Note ***for the love of GOD do NOT bring your sick child into the library***

Programs/Events

My children have attended some amazing programs/events at our libraries.  Traveling zoos, jugglers, movie viewing parties, musical performers, and so much more!  One of our local libraries currently has a traveling dinosaur exhibit and I can’t wait to take my son!  Libraries offer amazing opportunities for adults as well!  Book clubs, classes, etc.

Libraries are truly wonderful places full of amazing resources and opportunities.  Some of my very favorite memories of my children were made within the walls of the library 🙂

Play Areas

Don’t even get me started.  UGH.  You can read this post to hear all about my feelings on this one.  Spoiler: I hate them.

Book Coffee Happy Pro Tips:

  1. If there is a book that you want to check out but your library doesn’t have it and can’t get it from another library, they might be able to order it…and you will be the very first person to read that new copy!  I have done this a few times. I loved that I was able to add some wonderful books to our library for others to enjoy…and I loved being the very first person to check them out!
  2. Place a hold on multiple books that you want to read at one time.  They won’t all be ready for pickup at the same time so you will have plenty to keep you busy while you are waiting or the others.  When you’re done reading one, anther will be ready for you!
  3. If you get the call that your book is ready for pickup but you know that you won’t be able to start reading right away, wait a few days before you pick it up.  Your checkout date begins from the day the book is actually checked out, not the day it’s ready for pickup. At our library, holds expire after 7 days so I plan on when I pick up accordingly, especially if it’s a popular book that I know I won’t be able to renew if I don’t finish reading in the allotted time frame.  **Be mindful of others waiting for these books and don’t do this often**
  4. Older books have a much higher chance of being available than new releases.  Always keep a list of older books that you would like to read in case none of the new releases are currently available.
  5. If you know there is a book coming out that you want to read, you can place a hold on it months ahead of time!  Get your name higher on that list before the book is even released!
  6. Many libraries have remote locations where items can be returned.  In my community,  there is a location at our grocery store and also at the community building where my kids take classes.  Easy!  Be sure to check and see where your library has remote locations.  I rarely return books to the actual library…but I’m always at these remote locations.
  7. You can return your library books to other local libraries, it doesn’t have to be to the library from where you took out the book.  Just be sure to allow travel time for the book to make it back to your library so you won’t incur late fees.  When you return your item to a different location, there is no way for that location to track when it was returned.  Only when it is actually returned to it’s home library and checked back in can that date be tracked.  Sometimes it’s just easier to return items other places depending on where I am on that day.  **Again, be mindful when doing this!  I would imagine that libraries don’t love when people do this often**
  8. Busier libraries will have a less likely chance of newer books being on the shelves (although these libraries DO tend to own more copies of these titles).  When there is a particular book I’m looking for, I know exactly which of our local libraries will have a better chance of having it on the shelf and which libraries I shouldn’t even bother trying.

Do you visit your local library?  What are some things that it offers?  Any tips you have for helping others to get the most out of their library experience?

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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Books, Books, Books!

As the delicious smell of Twisted Peppermint fills my living room, I have so many book related updates to blog about and share with you!

Last October, I was invited to attend a Midwest Writers Association meeting.  The discussion topic was “expressing your passion” and how a writer discovers and applies that passion into his/her writing.  It was such a wonderful experience (You can read about that night here). A few weeks ago, I was once again invited to attend one of their meetings as the topic of this particular meeting was blogging and using blogs to promote yourself.  I felt so honored to be included and I loved being able to share some of the knowledge that I’ve gained through writing my blog. 

The meeting was held at a local independent bookstore.  Oh how I just love local independent bookstores!

We met in their beautiful event room and I loved spending the morning in the company of such wonderful authors, bloggers, and writers.  Thank you so much for including me, Midwest Writers Association!  You can read more about this lovely group of people here.

Do you remember a few months ago when I happily took a few books from our local library book stand at one of our community buildings?  My kids and I were there dropping something off last week and of course we spent a long time looking through the current selection.

Unfortunately none of the adult books called to me so I didn’t take any for myself.  My kids, however, got some great books!

I told my kids that they were each allowed to choose 1 item.  My son chose a frog book and my daughter chose a brand new (factory sealed!) math bingo game.  I was DELIGHTED to find the first book in the Little House series for my daughter!  Oh how I LOVED this series, I can’t wait for her to read them.  I also grabbed The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby for her since it is written by the same author as her current book series obsession: Dogman!

If you follow me onInstagram, you saw that I found this classic at a Little Free Library a few days ago! I happily added this along with the Little House book to the box of classic books I’m collecting for when my daughter is a bit older.  Love.

Present for my Niece’s 10th Birthday:

She loved them. 🙂

As for me, I’m currently reading this book:

The release date isn’t until January and I feel extraordinarily lucky that I was able to receive an Advance Reader’s Copy.  I absolutely love Mary Kubica.  While you are waiting for The Other Mrs. to be released, I strongly recommend reading this one.   SO, SO GOOD. 

Check out these 2 gorgeous childrens books that have recently been sent to me. I can’t wait to read these with my kids! Full blog reviews (and giveaways!) coming to the blog soon!

And lastly, my daughter was in a play last week (she was awesome and I cried) and here are the flowers I bought for her.  They are full of glitter because she’s 7 and there’s not much cooler to a 7 year old than a bouquet of all glitter flowers.  #momwin

What are you (or your children) currently reading?  Please share in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

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Thanksgiving and My Birthday Weekend

Thanksgiving 2019 began exactly the same way every Thanksgiving of my entire life has began…watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on tv! Oh how I love watching the parade all warm and snuggly on my couch. I have memories of watching the parade with my parents when I was a little girl, alone when I was living in the city after I graduated from college, with Jon and our dog when we first got married, and now all snuggled up with Jon and our kids.

The Radio City Rockettes was the only time in the 3 hours they weren’t snuggled up against me on the couch 🙂

Pro tip: DVR the parade the night before so you can pass all of the commercials (except for the ET Xfinity commercial…loved it)!

Matching shirts for my kids:

We hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 19 family members at our house. I put a leaf on everyone’s plate saying “I am thankful for____.” Everyone filled them out, I bought a photo album for them, and each year we will add new leaves to our family album. An official new family tradition that I officially started and will be in charge of each year! At one point during the night I was in the backyard with Jon (he was smoking a turkey and a prime rib) and I happened to look into my house through our back windows. The sight of my extended family together eating and laughing in my home made me instantly tear up! There’s something so profoundly beautiful about growing up going to holiday dinners at other family members’ houses and then one day being the adult hosting in your own home with your own family. So special.

Matching turkey necklaces for my kids and their cousin:

I forgot to turn on the oven to cook the corn casserole and I forgot to take the beautiful fruit bowl out of the refrigerator but nobody cared.  Being together is what the holiday is about and my wonderful family so enjoyed all being together.  I loved hosting everyone and watching as memories were being made inside of our home.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

And just as soon as Thanksgiving ended, it was time to celebrate my birthday!

My birthday this year fell on a Monday. My family and I celebrated the day before.

I was woken up by both of my children kissing me on my cheek and whispering “Happy Birthday Mommy.”

Perfection.

Apparently my kids each picked out the wrapping for my gifts. My daughter picked out exactly what I would have chosen for myself, beautiful pink flowers. Nailed it!

Aaaaaand my dinosaur obsessed son picked out….

Amazing 🙂

My husband bought me a full year theater subscription to one of our favorite theaters! There’s nothing like watching live theater and now we have unlimited access to seeing all of the shows there as many times as we want for a year! We bought this a few years ago and it was so amazing. This year’s show lineup is fantastic and includes my favorite production of all time…The Sound of Music! Can’t wait for our year of fun date nights…the first one is in 2 weeks, we are seeing Oliver 🙂

After I opened all of my gifts, the 4 of us went out for breakfast to one of my favorite diners and we all colored pictures until our food came.

We then drove downtown and our first stop was to the filming location of my favorite tv show…Shameless! I have wanted to visit the Gallagher house for years and it was the perfect day. I had to pay the homeowner $5.00 to let me take a picture on her porch…worth it!

Kevin and V’s house is actually 2 doors down!

So freaking cool. While I was there one of the neighbors came out and asked if I wanted to take a picture with him or with Frank, lol. 2 other groups of fans also came to take pictures on the porches while we were there and we all discussed and pointed out places on the property where specific scenes were filmed. Such a fun experience!

If you don’t watch Shameless, WATCH SHAMELESS. You’re welcome.

Our next stop was Chinatown! Another place I have been wanting to visit for years! We had the best time walking through the stores, eating a delicious Chinese lunch at one of the top rated restaurants (Joy Yee), and exploring the grocery stores which are so culturally different from our own.

Frogs for sale at the grocery store:

If there’s a book store in the vicinity, I’ll find it even if I can’t read any of the words, lol!

I loved this piece of furniture so much!  I did NOT love how insanely expensive it was.

My favorite animal: peacocks. They are so fancy! I spotted this beauty on a random wall as we walked past.   Gorgeous.

We came home, sang happy birthday, ate birthday cake, and I was given gorgeous flowers hand selected by my kids.

A perfect, perfect day.

My birthday gift to myself is this gorgeous laptop tote (<—- affiliate link)! I’ve been wanting it ever since my favorite YouTuber Jeana got it. It’s the perfect size and it’s so beautiful! Now when I go into the library with my laptop, book, notebook, coffee, oatmeal, keys, and phone…random strangers hopefully won’t ask if I need any help, lol.

Birthdays are strange. As a kid, I absolutely loved them! The parties! The gifts! The cake! As I got older they started to lose their luster a bit as the age I was turning creeped up up up. Somewhere the joy of the day turned into focusing on the number of the age I was turning and those numbers weren’t so young and exciting anymore. Another year, another year older. Ugh.

And then 6 years ago one of my dearest friends passed away and suddenly everything changed.

All of the sudden my birthdays started to feel special to me once again. The sobering reality that my dear friend will never again celebrate a birthday, will never grow old, and will never again experience any of life’s beauty hit me and it hit me hard. Suddenly growing old felt like such a precious gift and one that I will never again take for granted. Yes that number goes up up up…and I’m so very thankful that it does. I feel blessed to celebrate another birthday and even more blessed to be celebrating surrounded by so much love.

I miss my friend fiercely, especially around this time each year.

Birthdays (and life in general) should be celebrated. I look for the beauty in the day to day and it’s always in there somewhere! This past weekend was truly a beautiful weekend filled with love, family, delicious food, Gallaghers (!), presents, and laughter. Next weekend will include more birthday celebrations with my parents and with my 3 best friends.

Truly thankful for it all.

Dunkin Donuts Gift Card Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations Mistysbookspace!  Email me your address within 48 hours (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) and I’ll toss a gift card in the mail for you!  Enjoy 🙂

Thanks so much for allowing me to share bits of my personal life with you.  You can read about my last year’s birthday celebrations here.

My next blog post will be book focused! What I’m currently reading, the books I recently received, and more 🙂

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

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**Dunkin Donuts Gift Card Giveaway**

Today is my birthday and to celebrate, I’d like to mail someone a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card 🙂 What’s more fun than hosting a birthday giveaway?!

If you have been following me for any length of time you know that Dunkin’ is my all time favorite coffee…and I’d like to buy one for you! Or if you don’t drink coffee (the horror), I’d like to buy you a doughnut, a bagel, or anything else that you love 🙂

To enter, just leave a comment below saying something that will make me smile. I’ll randomly pick a winner and announce it in Wednesday’s blog post. Be sure you check back because once I post, the winner will have 48 hours to email me their mailing address before I will choose a new winner. Once I receive your mailing address, I’ll toss a $5 gift card in the mail for you 🙂

I hope you are having a beautiful day today!

Happy Birthday to me AND to my girl Britney Spears 🙂

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for all of YOU!

Writing this blog has very quickly turned into my favorite hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and my love of all things books (and sometimes life) with you! Thank you for reading, thank you for interacting, and thank you for sharing my little corner of the Internet with me and with others.

We are hosting 19 family members for dinner tonight and my house already smells so amazing 🙂

I hope you have a beautiful holiday today spent with those you love! I’ll be back soon with more book reviews, book discussions, and little tidbits of my life. Until then, I’ll be soaking up spending time with my most favorite people while celebrating one of my most favorite holidays.

Happy Thanksgiving, Friends 🙂  What are you doing to celebrate?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Xo,

Jenny

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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An Honest Book Review (Positives and Negatives) of a Currently Popular Book

Book Bloggers everywhere are loving this book and it’s been on my radar for months to read! My review of this one is a bit complicated…there were parts of it that I loved and parts of it that I did not. This book was recently released in mid August and I was fortunate to receive an Advance Reader’s Copy.  It’s currently such a popular book…I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and to start reading!

Before I go into my review, just a few random shapshots of my life:

I dropped off my son at preschool this morning and when I got back to my car, I realized that I had left my coffee in his classroom.  Oh HELL no!  I couldn’t get back into that building fast enough!  As I was frantically running to get back inside, I passed another mom who pointed out the irony of the shirt that I just so happen to be wearing today:

Truth.

My kids attended a birthday party yesterday and after we left my daughter turned the crayon box party favor into a tiny book!  Love her creativity!

And now, a book review.  Have you read this?  I’m truly not sure how I feel about it.

Things You Save in a Fire By Katherine Center (affiliate)

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3.5 Stars

Man is this a tough review to write as my thoughts on this book are so scattered.

First and foremost, it’s a beautiful book with so many beautiful messages.  It’s a very easy read.  I found myself fascinated in learning about firefighters and about the aspects of their jobs in which I really had no idea.

That being said, I do feel this book lacks some pretty major character and storyline development.  I just wanted MORE of everything!

There was one major storyline that I really disagreed with and it bothered me throughout the entire story.

I felt that this book was a bit cheesy, predictable, and unrealistic at times…

HOWEVER, I honestly did enjoy it.  I found myself smiling more than once as I was reading.  I even posted on Instagram how much I was loving it! That’s the problem…just when I would start to really love it, I would become bored by it.  My feelings were completely inconsistent the deeper into the book I got.

I wouldn’t say that this was a book I couldn’t wait to pick up each day (except for those few intense chapters toward the end…those chapters were GREAT!  I wish the rest of the book would have held my interest as those few chapters did).

I laughed, I cried (tears down face), I smiled, and…I was bored.  All while reading the same book.

Have any of you read this???  Please comment below…I’d so love to hear your thoughts.

I told you my review of this one is a bit complicated and all over the place 😉

Bottom Line:

Would I recommend this book?  Yes!  Would it be high on my list of recommendations?  No.

Xo,

Jenny

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

This blog is my favorite hobby and I would so love your support!  Here are ways you can help my blog to GROW:

*Please share this page with your book and blog loving friends!*

*Subscribe with your email address to my blog (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page on mobile devices OR check the top right of this screen to enter your email address)*

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*”Like” my Facebook page (and please comment on, “like”, and share my posts)*

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