The First Book I’ve Bought in YEARS!

The older I become, the more I believe in and practice minimalism.  You can read more about this decision in this post!  I am constantly tidying, decluttering, and getting rid of things around our house.  My annual garage sale has become one of my favorite events!  Whenever anyone asks for gift ideas for anyone in our family (especially for our children) I always respond with EXPERIENCES OVER PHYSICAL THINGS.  My children will gain so much more from an enriching experience than any toy could ever provide.  I proudly keep my house clean, organized, and as clutter free as possible (If you are interested, I can do an entire post on this…just let me know in the comments). One area that I’ve come to realize gets out of hand quickly when I allow it to is BOOKS.  As you know, I’m a huge book lover (obvi) and reading books truly brings me happiness (hence the name of my blog).  It took me many years to realize that my joy of READING does not in fact mean that I find joy in OWNING books.  Libraries have become my happy place as they allow me the opportunity to read any book I want without having the physical book in my possession when I’m done.

As a book blogger, I’m extraordinarily blessed that authors are constantly mailing me copies of their books on a regular basis for me to read and review on my blog.  These books are in a whole separate category of things that I own.  They are so much more than just books to me…these are actual reminders of my hard work and dedication to this blog as well as the actual reminders of authors and publishers who believe in my value as well as my opinion.  Minimalism dictates not keeping anything which doesn’t hold a special meaning to the owner…these special books are some of my prized possessions!

It’s the books that I seek out on my OWN to read…the books where buying them will eventually mean one more thing on my bookshelf to keep tidy…it’s THOSE books where I love reading (and returning) a library copy.

I have been wanting to read this particular book for MONTHS.

I went to the library yesterday…no copies in stock.  I checked out 2 books that I wasn’t even that excited to read for the simple fact that they weren’t this particular book.

When I got back to my car, I called our other local library (the one where I had placed a hold on this particular book) from the parking lot of the first library.

I’ve been on this library’s wait list FOR. EV.  ER.  The library recently started a new system where they won’t tell you what number you are in line! They are now part of a consortium that receives books from all other surrounding libraries so there really is no way to track when your book will be in. It’s both wonderful and FRUSTRATING. It’s wonderful because you theoretically could receive your book much quicker as it could be coming from a multitude of libraries and not just from one. I called our library yesterday to see if they could give me ANY indication…am I #2 or #200??? They wouldn’t tell me. I hung up and drove my annoyed self straight to Barnes and Noble.  I couldn’t wait even another day to start reading this book.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I’ve been holding on to this beautiful gift card from one of my best friends for months waiting until there was a book I’ve reaaaaally been wanting to read. The time has come!

How cute are these tote bags???  Barnes and Noble for the WIN!

I’ve seen this before and I think it’s a fun idea. You get a book without knowing which book you are receiving! There are descriptions written on the covers and you make your decision based upon those descriptions without ever seeing the actual cover. Love it!


I love it for a library where you aren’t paying actual money to blindly make a purchase. $16.00 to buy a book I very well might not want to own? That’s the exact OPPOSITE of minimalism (and smart purchasing in general). Hell no!

Besides, I was there on a MISSION.  No time for cute tote bags or mystery purchases. I hobbled (stupid broken toe) straight to the fiction section, found my book waiting for me on the shelf, quickly scooped it up, paid with my beautiful gift card, and happily drove home.

I started reading this afternoon! It’s making my broken toe feel better already…

Polygamy is absolutely fascinating to me…I could NEVER share my husband/life with another woman.  EVER.  Sister Wives on TLC is one of my very favorite shows.  Do you watch Sister Wives?  Which wife is your favorite?  #teamchristine

I’m currently on chapter 2 of my new book and from what I’ve read so far…this was a smart purchase.  A very smart purchase indeed.

Sometimes, minimalist or not…a girl just wants to read what a girl wants to read.  NOW.  And this girl is doing just that 🙂

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)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

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

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*

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!


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.


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***


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?



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)*

*If you already have a blog, please “follow” mine*

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

*Follow me on Instagram*

*Follow me on Twitter*

*Subscribe to my YouTube channel*

*Clicking and buying products through my Amazon Affiliate links.  The cost to you is exactly the same and I receive a tiny commission off of your purchases.*

*Leaving a positive review on my Facebook page*



#Givereading, What I’m Reading, Giveaway Winner

#Givereading Campaign

I love that I live in a town where promoting and encouraging reading is such a priority.  It was such a glorious surprise to walk past this beautiful display at our local park district building last week to promote the #givereading campaign:

I stood there forever and finally (happily) made my decision.  I walked away with this one…have any of you read it?  I think it sounds great!

I know nothing about it but it’s written by the same author who wrote Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (affiliate) which has been on my to read list for months.

Thank you so much, Indian Trails Public Library!

What I’m Reading

I’m currently reading this book (affiliate) and I’m enjoying it!  I’m a huge fan of thrift shops, (as well as antique stores, flea markets, etc.)  so it’s fun for me to read about the inner workings of one!

Full review of this book and blog GIVEAWAY for it coming soon!  Stay tuned 🙂

Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All) Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations to Amy (I am 5’4. I would LOVE to add this book to my Social/Emotional curriculum in my first grade class. Perfect read aloud to use for differences and acceptance! I love it!!! Thanks for introducing me to it!!!)!  You won the giveaway!

Please email me ( with your mailing address and the name(s) that you would written in the book’s dedication from the author.  Your copy of Being Small (Isn’t So Bad After All)  (affiliate) will be mailed to you ASAP!

Thank you to everyone who entered!  If you didn’t win this one, I have some other fantastic giveaways coming to the blog SOON (see above picture for a spoiler of the next one)!

Happy Friday!  I hope you have a lovely weekend.  Anyone doing anything fun?  I will be spending today floating around in my most favorite pool with one of my most favorite friends.  I’ll post about it in my Instagram stories!



Let’s Chat: Do You Treat Library Books Better or Worse Than Your Own Books?


Last week, a friend of mine emailed me with an idea for a blog post…bringing library books on vacation!  I immediately loved her idea and knew it would make for a great post.  She was packing for an upcoming trip and was unsure if she wanted to risk damaging library books by bringing them on her vacation.  She was nervous about the ocean water, sunscreen, tropical drinks, etc. getting on her borrowed library books.  She asked my opinion and I didn’t hesitate when I immediately wrote her back…

Bring them!

I LOVE LIBRARY BOOKS.  Like…a lot.  And while I’m definitely careful and respectful of borrowed library books, I do tend to not treat them as well than if they were my own.  I find myself resting my coffee mugs directly on the covers, tossing them into my car, etc.

If I spend money on a book, I treat it with much more care.  I would NEVER rest my coffee on it!  Coasters all the way.  I would NEVER throw it into my car!  It would be carefully placed on the passenger seat next to me.

Not to mention, library books DO have that nice protective coating over them sooooo….there’s that.

Having this attitude towards library books means I ALWAYS bring them on my vacations!  They get shoved into my seat pocket on the airplane, thrown into my beach bag, and packed away to return home buried under the souvenirs in my suitcase.  I never worry about damaging them!  In fact, just the opposite…I don’t worry about them at all, lol.

I’ve been very lucky that I’ve never damaged a library book.  I’m quite certain that my opinion and how I tend to treat them would very much change if I ever did…

Until then?  I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that the protective coating over the cover does it’s job. 🙂

Speaking of library books, here’s the one I am currently reading!  I started it last night and am absolutely LOVING it so far. Have you read this one?

I have an awesome book giveaway scheduled for Wednesday…make sure you check the blog! I can’t wait to share this wonderful book with you!

So tell me…Do you treat library books better or worse then your own books?

I’m traveling next month and would love to hear your book recommendations!  What should I pack to read during my trip???  I asked this question on Facebook yesterday and got some fantastic responses!  (If you missed my 2019 Spring Break Book Recommendations, you can read them here).

Do you have any suggestions for future blog posts?  I’d love to hear them and possibly use them!  Please let me know!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂