Books for the new year.

I love the fresh start of the new year.  The beginning of January is one of my happiest times of the year. I set my goals and intentions the last few weeks of December, and seeing them in action gives me so much satisfaction and joy.



A theme that’s already started emerging for me this year is help and coaching. It’s harder to accomplish goals in a vacuum. One of my self-care goals for Q1 of the year is to get our youngest sleep-trained by the end of the month. If you know us, you know that we are incredibly lackadaisical about kiddo routines, which has backfired! After three years running of sleep deprivation, I finally bit the bullet and hired a sleep consultant. I don’t want to jinx it, but so far, it's been a game-changer.

Books to me are like consultants that live in your bag. They are such low-barrier ways to access expertise and a fresh perspective.  No better time to start a reading kick than in the new year. My January reading list:





  • She Reads Truth Bible – I have it in the Navy LeatherTouch and love it - it feels so special.
  • The Soul Tells a Story - all about the discipline of writing and the practice of creative pursuit - motivating and inspiring.

What are you reading? I'd love to know!

What I'm Reading: April & May.

I went just a little bit crazy buying books these last two months.



The Magic of Motherhood. You can bet that I pre-ordered this as soon as I heard it was on Amazon. I'm such a huge fan of Coffee & CrumbsOnly Love Today: Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love is another mom-fave for me. My mom actually took it off my nightstand and has been reading it herself. It's only $2.99 on Kindle right now, so scoop this one up.

Not Naughty: 10 Ways Kids Appear to Be Acting Bad But Aren't. This was a really eye-opening one for me, especially numbers 2-4 and 9-10. I'm learning to offer Noah (and myself) grace when it comes to being overtired and overstimulated. Most of the time, we know what's best for our own kids, but I'm a big believer in learning how to be a better parent. Dave and I went to a parenting workshop at our church before Noah was even walking, and the speaker said something to the effect of, "If we want better kids, we have to be better parents." That stuck with me.

The Happy Sleeper. Sleep training, it's real. 

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place. I want Dave to read this one. So hard to disconnect these days, and I want to make sure we are setting the best possible example for the little ones before they grow up to be iPhone addicts.


How to Draw Modern Florals. So, so excited to carve out time to work my way through this book. I can't make it to an in-person art class these days, so this is perfect for at-home art times with my little ones.

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. I'm just now learning about this, and wondering why I hadn't read it sooner. It's therapy in a book. One of my biggest life challenges is learning how to adequately communicate my needs and my boundaries and helping my kiddos do the same, and this book has been so helpful in guiding me. Breathing Room: Letting Go So You Can Fully Live is another therapy-esque book I'm reading slowly.

The Silent Child. This was $1.99 on Amazon, and had a ton of great reviews. I haven't started reading it yet, but it's next on my list, as soon as I remember to charge my Kindle.

Worth It: Your Life, Your Money, Your Terms. I'm a personal finance junkie. I'll read almost anything related to women and money.


Surf Shack: Laid-Back Living By the Water. I bought this as a coffee table book for friends who just moved into their new home, and then bought another copy to keep for myself because captures the California aesthetic so well.

Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home. This book is beautiful, and so inspiring for me. Home decorating is a slow, slow road when you're on a budget, but I'm looking forward to layering textures and print.


Next to You: A Book of Adorableness. I bought this book to read to Judah, but Noah loves it, too. His first words to Judah in the morning: "Hi sweetheart! You are cute, cute, cute and cute." It's the best.

I've added so. many. books. to my summer reading list, so stay tuned. Happy almost June!

What I'm Reading: February & March (and some recs for the littles).

So much of my reading list these days revolves around motherhood with a sprinkle around work and creative living. Now that I'm buying books for the boys as well as myself, I'm including a few recommendations for little ones too.

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For me:

Hands Free Mama. Sherry from Young House Love touted this book as the practical complement to Chasing Slow, which I loved. I'm feeling the squeeze on quality time with my boys, so I'm learning to be more intentional about being present and not distracted by a device, work or chores while I'm with them. I've teared up in more than a few places reading this book and reflecting on how quickly these precious moments pass. I'm learning that the quiet moments spent being completely present with my little ones can be just as soul-restoring, if not more, than alone time.

The Wellness Mama Cookbook. Healthy, budget-friendly recipes in under 30 minutes? Count me in. I really like that for the most part, the recipes in this book are super simple with no fancy ingredients that I have to make a special trip to the grocery store for. I've only had this book for a few weeks, and it's already the cookbook I turn to first for meal-planning. The slow cooker recipes are especially useful for me these days.

The New Preschool is Crushing Kids is an article that came on The Atlantic that has been influencing my thoughts about preschool (and this op-ed as well). Noah is all about stories – reading, listening, telling, and as this article states, "Conversation is gold." Education is such an investment, so I want to make sure that we're choosing the best one possible.

Brazen: The Courage to Find the You That's Been Hiding. My good friend told me about this author, who spoke at her MOPS group, so I looked up her book. This book is totally speaking to where I am in my creative life right now. I'm so skeptical of myself! This book is such an encouragement and provides the road-map for soul check-ins that I need.

A Woman's Place. I'm constantly asking myself, Am I doing what I am meant to do? This book adds another dimension to the women and work conversation.

The Magnolia Journal. Is there anyone who doesn't like Fixer Upper? This is a bonus dose of the home and life inspiration in print form. 

For the babes:

If You Give a Mouse A Cookie. I loved that this popped up on my Amazon feed, and knew immediately that Noah would get a kick out of it. We read this at least once a day, and he references it whenever I give him a cookie. In the cookie vein, I also bought Cookies Board Book: Bite-Size Life Lessons. We haven't read it yet, but after reading Amy Krouse Rosenthal's essay in the New York Times, I was hooked.

If you asked me what keeps me up at night, I would say children in vulnerable circumstances. The refugee crisis is breaking my heart. Teacup is a picture book about one boy's journey to a new homeland. It's never too early to start teaching empathy, and I'm confident that Noah will be interested in this story.

On a lighter note, Noah, like every other two year old boy it seems, is super into trucks. I bought him I Am a Garbage Truck, which we have read so. many. times. I Am a Fire Truck just dropped down to $2 (!) on Amazon, so of course I purchased it. Noah is like me and loves surprises and treats, and this book will be one for sure.


*note: this blog post contains affiliate links.

What I'm Reading: January.

Ah, January is almost over, and here I am sharing my January book list. My goal is to be more intentional about my creative outlets this year – more on that later – so here goes.  What I've been reading lately:

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The Year of Living Danishly. I saw this on Shauna Niequist's instagram feed. A few chapters in, and I'm ready to book a flight to Denmark. I actually looked up the flights for January, and they were only $330+ for roundtrip flights out of LAX! Given, it's the middle of winter, but still.

Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path. I've been sneaking chapters of this while the boys nap, and I've dog-eared so many pages. It is one of those books that speaks so well to where I am right now.

The Big Enough Company. This book came up in one of the recent Young House Love podcasts, and I purchased immediately. I don't consider myself an entrepreneur (yet, anyway), but this book speaks to larger work and work-life balance type issues that I'm always interested in.

Styled by Emily Henderson and Loveable Livable Home. Interior design inspiration books are my jam right now. Actually, since forever. A good chunk of my childhood was spent poring over design books and Architectural Digest at the library.

I'm re-reading The Magnolia Story, because I'm all in the Fixer Upper mood right now and #relationshipgoals. I don't have high expectations for a "celebrity" book, but this was actually well-written and a fun read.

The First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother. I bought this for myself a couple weeks before my due date. I appreciated the philosophy behind this book so much: nourishment, grace, warmth. I wasn't about to try a raw placenta smoothie recipe, but the bone broth and granola recipes are now staples in my repertoire. 

The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living. This book was a gift from a dear friend for my 30th birthday. It's a beautiful book to leaf through over coffee. All the coffee.