Happy Monday beautiful friends! I hope you all had a fun weekend and stayed nice and warm. It's gotten pretty cold here again and we've been getting hit with more snow but luckily Kai and I had a fun little mama/baby date with some new friends of ours at the Garfield Park Conservatory on Saturday. I swear that place is my absolute favorite place to go in Chicago in the winter. It's so warm and refreshing in there! We walked around with some fellow babywearing loving mamas and babies. It was so much fun to get to know some other moms who live in Chicago and sport our Wildbirds! Yesterday we just stayed home and snuggled up with some Game of Thrones while it snowed some more. We're rewatching the whole series to prep for the upcoming new season that airs in April!
I feel like I always start off the year strong when it comes to reading. Anyone else feel this way? I was able to make it through 2 books last month and I wanted to share them with you today! They are both non-fictions "self help" books and were a great way to motivate me for the year ahead.
You Are a Badass -Jen Sincero
This was definitely your typical self motivating how to kick butt book with a bit of an attitude twist. The author, Jen Sincero, is very blunt and just tells it like it is, which I really like. When it comes to self help books I'm not in to the fluffy extra crap that authors tend to add as fillers. Sincero gives great tips on how to excel in your professional and personal life, but to be honest it's nothing ground breaking. She hits on having a strong morning routine, meditation, exercise, getting enough sleep, just all your standard stuff that we always here about. She definitely presents it in an entertaining way but I don't feel that I personally learned anything new from this read. However, it did refresh my mind in terms of the things I should be doing to keep kicking ass at life, which was nice! I'll give it a 3 out of 5.
You can buy You are a Badass on Amazon.
Body Love -Kelly LeVeque
Body Love is a guided nutrition and physical fitness self help book. Kelly will tell you over and over again her program is not a diet, it's a lifestyle. Which I appreciate that approach, but if you were to sum it up...it's a diet, sorry Kelly! Her program is called the Fab Four, which is 4 main kinds of foods that you should always incorporate in to breakfast, lunch and dinner. They are leafy greens, fiber, protein, and fats. Kelly states that if you always have these 4 types of foods in your meals then you will avoid blood sugar spikes and drops, which will help you avoid cravings and keep you fuller longer. She is big on smoothies to incorporate the Fab Four and has lots of great recipes within the book. She touches upon exercise and other good habits you should be doing to help you feel like your best self. She also has an awesome sample schedule of meals and workouts and how that all fits in to her normal lifestyle in the book.
I liked this book, but it's not my favorite. I was hoping for something different from it, to be honest. I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting from it, but it felt very preachy. She tells you over and over again how her program isn't a diet for like 5 chapters. By the time I got to the recipes it was kind of like "enough already!" It was very interesting to read but it still felt restrictive and a bit hard to follow, which she claims its not. Maybe it's just because we live in the Midwest, but a lot of her suggestions just aren't as easy as she was making them out to be. She kind of sounded like a naive LA girl, ha! Regardless though, I've tried to be more conscious of my meals to see if I feel better by incorporating the Fab Four as much as I can. I'm not 100% buying in to it, but I'm trying my best! I'll keep you all posted on how I'm feeling in any of my wellness posts! I'll give this one a 3 out of 5, as well.
You can buy Body Love on Amazon.
UP NEXT: Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
What are you currently reading? Share with me in the comments below!
Also, for all you parents out there, a friend of mine started a fun baby book club on Instagram! She's putting up bi-weekly baby book recommendations and you can follow along on the fun at @solsbooks!
Woo! It's been a minute friends, huh? Sorry I've been MIA lately...time has just gotten away from me. From planning Kai's 1st birthday party to cleaning out our house Marie Kondo style, I've just been really busy. I hope you all are having a wonderful start to 2019 though!
I finally have another book club post for you all today! About time, right? Well to be fair, I was reading David Copperfield and it's about 1200 pages long. I'm pretty proud of myself for this one especially because I tried once before and gave up real quick back in my college days...
So let's talk about Charles Dickens and David Copperfield. It was really good, I don't know why I gave up on it back in the day. It took me awhile to read but that's because of its length + being a mom + work + life...etc. Basically the story goes along the life of a boy named David Copperfield. It starts out from when he was born till he is middle aged. He goes through so many trials in life and I'm not going to lie, it actually resonated with me a lot from things that were going on within my own life. It's also one of those books that in the end, everything is exactly how it should be and what my heart longed for to happen for this character. So thank you for that, Mr. Dickens! The story goes all through his childhood, teen years in school, marriage, career, just everything that encompasses life. I don't want to give too much away so just trust on it having many exciting ups and downs that are real life problems.
If you love the classics and have the time + mind power to read this one, do it. It honestly taught me so much about life and the importance of persevering. Man did that kid have perseverance. When you didn't think it could get any worse for him, it does, but he was still a kind and loving young man. David Copperfield is honestly a source of inspiration for me! He goes through a lot of loss...I mean A LOT. He was always there for those who depended on him though even in his darkest of times, which I really needed reminding of this past fall when I had a lot of personal trials going on in my own life. It's funny that I chose to read this book during this phase of my life...the universe works in mysterious ways, huh? So anyways, read it, I know you'll love it ;)
You can purchase David Copperfield on Amazon.
UP NEXT: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero + Body Love by Kelly LeVeque
Follow me on Goodreads so we can be book buddies!
Hey fellow book friends, it's been awhile! I was stuck on reading Jane Eyre forever, but I finally finished! I can't wait to share my thoughts with all of you as well as Babywise II! I took a slight break from Jane Eyre at the end of June/beginning of July to read through Babywise and Babywise II since Kai was reaching the next stage in his development! I originally only read the newborn to 12 weeks old parts of Babywise so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed with info, so I went back through to read the new parts and refresh on the general idea. Babywise II also highlights 5 months and on up to the time your baby becomes a toddler, so I tagged that on the my mom reading for the month. So here we go with a couple of book club chats!
Babywise II -Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
So as most of you know, we're a Babywise family. We read the first book, On Becoming Babywise, at the end of last year. You can read that review here. The PDF method has gone extremely well for us. Kai sleeps so well, eats so well, and is so happy all the time and we can attribute so much of that to working hard at implementing the Babywise method from the beginning. We knew we wanted to continue on with this guidance even after we got Kai sleeping through the night because it's more than just that. It's all about his development and behavior all the time. Babywise II covers solid foods, the difference between punishment vs consequences, starting sign language, and good methods of play for the 5+ month old. It is a much shorter and quicker read compared to the first book, so it was a breeze to get through.
I liked Babywise II, but not as much as the first book. The book goes over solid foods, but I was hoping for more guidance on it since the first book is very centered around eating and sleeping. This book seemed a lot more concentrated on parenting and behavior, which I personally already have a good idea of how we want to go about "raising" Kai. The book gave some good pointers about staying consistent and starting out the way you always want to do things but those are things I already knew. It did touch upon a good way of starting solid foods though and did give some advice on foods to avoid, which I found really helpful. I also enjoyed the section about punishment vs consequences. Babies do not have a conscious, so punishment this early on is pointless.. When they misbehave, it is not intentional...they just don't know! So instead of implementing punishments when they do something you don't want them to do, instead you should go for consequences. One way we've started doing this is with Kai dropping toys on the ground. We pick them up for him twice, but if he drops it a third time, we take it away. Kind of like a three strikes your out thing. This way he will start to learn that if he drops his toys off his highchair or while he's on our lap in a chair, we will only grab it a couple of times if he accidentally drops it, but not if he keeps doing it because it's "fun." We also like the idea of starting sign language with Kai. We've started doing the sign for "more" when he's eating and I think he's slowly catching on! So essentially I liked bits and pieces of it, but overall I give it just an average rating. If you are looking for some help with solids and schedules though, give it a try, but I wouldn't bother reading the rest unless you are really lost on parenting styles. However, I have a couple of better recommendations for those kinds of books here and here.
You can buy Babywise II on Amazon.
Jane Eyre -Charlotte Bronte
I decided to take on this classic this past spring and it while it took me awhile to finish, it wasn't because I didn't like it, it was just because it was really really long and I'm a working mom. Jane Eyre is the story of a girl who is orphaned and grows up with a mean aunt and cousins, a little Cinderella if you ask me. She is eventually sent off to school where she excels and takes on a life around education. She falls in love, has her heart broken, but in the end gets what she deserves. There are lot of ups and downs and exciting moments all through the book and the ending is so heartwarming.
I really loved this book. Jane is an amazing and inspirational character. She's someone I would love to have lunch with and discuss books with. She is just such a likable character and I love her interactions with everyone she comes across. Her love story is fascinating and takes a lot of unexpected twists and turns but I just love the way all of it ends. It's one of those books where you question if it will end happy and while it's not all sunshine and rainbows, I believe it ends perfectly. So while it was really long and took a long time to read from start to end, it was so worth it to read. I highly recommend it if you love the classics and have some time to invest in a longer book!
You can buy Jane Eyre on Amazon.
Be sure to add me on Goodreads so we can be book buddies! I'm currently reading David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I tried once before and failed, so wish me luck this time! What are you currently reading?!
Last month I only finished one book but it was a really really good one! I read The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl and seriously loved it so much. The book covers the obvious...the way Danish parents parent their children. Danish people tend to rank the highest on the world happiness scale and there must be a reason for it. In my December book review, I mentioned that I read The Little Book of Hygge and how it helped me to learn the Danish way of Hygge. I actually found out about this book thanks to The Little Book of Hygge!
The Danes have an acronym for their parenting theory, and it is PARENT. It stands for play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums, and togetherness. Each chapter explains the importance of each part of PARENT and how to incorporate it in to your parenting style and children's lifestyle. A short run down of it all is it is important to just let your kids play. Nothing fancy involved. Let them truly use their imagination and interact with each other. The act of authenticity is important in encouraging your kids to be comfortable in their own skin. Being true and authentic with them goes a long way for their self esteem and learning to trust you and others around them. Reframing helps kids learn how to deal with negative situations and life's disappointments. It basically is teaching them to always look on the bright side. Teaching empathy is so important early on because it really is a learned skill. In the end we all end up with kind and caring children. The no ultimatum part is essential to prevent power struggles and hopefully keep any resentment from building up between parent and child. And lastly togetherness is hygge. It is about spending time together as a family and creating a close bond between everyone in your household.
Guys, every word of this book resonated with me. I was basically nodding and saying "yep" the entire time I was reading it. I honestly agree with every single thing this book has to say with every fiber of my being. That's how much I loved it. As I've mentioned before, I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and this book is heavily based on a child's psyche. The PARENT philosophy fosters good and happy behavior in all children. Every aspect of PARENT is so important to helping our children grow in to kind, loving, and happy people. I have made a vow to myself to parent with PARENT every day. If I catch myself deviating from it, I make a mental note and reframe myself! I know I can personally work on being more empathetic and try harder to look on the bright side of things. It all starts with me as a mom and how I can be the best model for Kai. I personally feel like by parenting Kai with PARENT, I will only become a more loving and happy person myself! Now that to me is a huge win. I actually feel like it has helped me with any baby blues I was experiencing postpartum, too. Just by thinking about how I can look at the upside of something or empathize with whoever or whatever is upsetting me, I have been able to overcome a lot of difficult emotions. As Kai gets older, I'm looking forward to really incorporating PARENT in to our lives. He is already such a happy baby, and I'm so excited that I've found the tools to hopefully keep him that way forever!
You can buy The Danish Way of Parenting on Amazon.
Make sure you add me on Goodreads so we can be book buddies! I love seeing what you all are reading these days, too. I'm still currently reading Jane Eyre...give me a break, it's a long one! But I'm really enjoying it so far!
Happiest of Mondays to you all! We had a nice weekend relaxing and spending time with family. Kai is becoming more and more fun by the day! He's so much more alert and smiles so big when he looks at Caleb and I. He's started cooing and sometimes has a little cackle when he smiles. I know we still have some time before he laughs but I can't help but get so excited when he makes noises when he's smiling. We can tell he wants to laugh so bad, but we're not quite there yet. Soon enough though, right!?
So I read a couple of great books last month that I want to share with you all! I've really been enjoying non-fiction books lately, especially parenting books. I find them to be fascinating because the ones I've been diving in to are heavily psychology based. If you didn't know this about me, I actually have a BS degree in Psychology! I'm big on cognitive development and behavioral patterns, which I've got to say, has really worked in my favor with becoming a mom! Anyways, on to the books I read...
Bringing Up Bebe -Pamela Druckerman
This parenting book is about an American mom's experience of raising her children in Paris, France. She decided to write this book because she was fascinated with how well behaved Parisian children always are. She did a lot of research on French parenting and how and why it works so well. The book follows along mostly with her first daughter growing up and how French parents incorporate their techniques based on the child's age.
This book isn't a straight forward parenting guide, it's written like a French parenting book actually. French parenting books aren't designed to tell you exactly what to do every step of the way. They give theories and ideas for French parents to put to the test and figure out how they work best for you children. One of the biggest things this book promotes though is treating your children as functioning people. Even babies can comprehend what you're saying to them, so they are owed to be talked to like a human being. It's suggested to steer clear of lots of baby talk and treat them with respect. French children know that adults are in charge but when they feel respected they are more willing to cooperate for you. I really like this point in the book and 100% agree. Just because Kai can't speak to me, doesn't mean he isn't trying his best to listen to what I have to say. I've been trying to calmly talk to him, and I've really noticed, especially when he's crying really hard, that after a few seconds he starts to calm down and listen. He might not understand what I'm saying but because I'm talking to him like a human and not a cute puppy, he tends to settle and listen better. The book also dives in to a lot about self soothing and how it's important to start on that technique as early as possible, allowing children to play and use their imagination on their own without parent intervention, and helping your babies sleep through the night, all of which I find extremely important. I also really enjoyed how it touched on mom guilt and how French mothers are not ashamed of taking time to care for themselves. We all struggle with that mom guilt of wanting to take care of ourselves but not take time away from our kids, so to be told that it's ok to take time out of your day for you is really nice to read.
The downside to this book though is it obviously really favors Parisian culture. Unfortunately, the US government doesn't subsidize state run daycares that every parent wants their children to attend like the Paris government does. As awesome as this sounds, it's just not how things work here in America. It also talks about the difference in interaction between parent and child of French parents versus American parents. You can try all you want to be like the French parents at the playground but in the end we live in the US, and the way parents interact with their kids here is just how they interact. You can try to change how you do it, but you can't change everyone else.
I definitely recommend this book to all moms but with the point of keeping in mind that it doesn't all work here in the US. The author lives in Paris, we don't.
You can buy Bringing Up Bébé on Amazon.
The Little Book of Hygge -Meik Wiking
The Little Book of Hygge is a book all about the hygge way of life in Denmark. Denmark is repeatedly ranked as having the happiest people in the world, so they must be doing something right! Hygge is definitely the answer to why they are so happy. The author works for the Happiness Institute in Copenhagen and touches on all the different aspects of hygge. There isn't a clear cut translation for what hygge is in English, but the closet you can get is "a cozy lifestyle." The book goes in to the best way to achieve hygge with the importance of candles, togetherness, sweets & good food, and more. Each aspect is broken down in different chapters to thoroughly explain the importance of them to having hygge.
I absolutely loved this book. It is one of my favorite books ever. It made me so happy every morning to read it while sipping my coffee, having Kai in his baby wrap on me, and having some candles going with our fireplace lit. I looked forward to this ritual every morning and just by having this ritual made me feel like I was achieving hygge myself. I really liked how there are some recipes in the book for great food to make with friends and family that bring happiness as well as fun ideas of things to do to really enjoy that closeness with the important people in your life. They are all so simple, too. Hygge isn't about being extravagant and spending a lot of money. If anything, it's about being simple and enjoying what you have. If you are in need of a pick me up, I can't recommend this book enough. Like I said before, just reading it made me feel happier. I try to implement hygge in to my life every day now and I've got to say, I can feel the happiness inside me, which I hope to pass on to all those around me.
You can buy The Little Book of Hygge on Amazon.
I just started reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte! Have any of you read this classic? I can't wait to get further in to it. What are you all currently reading? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
I’m Diana; curator & author of Tiny Dapper Fox. Here you’ll find posts on motherhood, home life, travel, & fashion/beauty as well as City Guides for places all around the world. Make yourself cozy and let’s be friends!
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