Hey friends! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. We had a wonderful one over here just spending time relaxing at home and we went to our first Cubs game of the year yesterday! We went up to Miller Park in Milwaukee for the Cubs vs Brewers game with a big group of our friends. We did an all inclusive club level package and it came with an all you can eat buffet, drinks, and a giant suite area you can watch the game from. It was really nice actually and helpful with a one year old that is running around a bunch now. We were able to take breaks from watching the game and let Kai run around the lounge area in between innings. The Cubs lost but it was still a really fun time!
So I read not 1 but 2 books last month! My spike in reading has been thanks to my amazing morning routine that I've been doing the last couple of months which I will actually be telling you all about thanks to one of the books I read last month (The Miracle Morning). So let's dive right in to our little book club chat for this month...
Lethal White -Robert Galbraith
Lethal White is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith aka JK Rowling. If you haven't read the first three, I highly suggest reading them before you read Lethal White as there are a lot of references to the previous books all throughout plus the back story of Strike and his partner, Robin.
In Lethal White, Strike and Robin take on a case for a government minister who is being blackmailed. The minister won't divulge what he is being blackmailed for and wants Strike to find dirt on the people who are blackmailing him. Strike takes the job but on the side digs around for the real reason for the blackmail. There is always the outlying twist in crime novels too, of course, this one being if there is a connection to a dead little girl to the government minister. In the midst of the blackmail job, something tragic happens the minister and the family rehires Strike to find out more about it. It's a crime within a crime story and the twist at the end in unreal.
Seriously, all hail Queen Jo. Lethal White was fantastic. I don't want to give too much of it away nice it is newer and I hope all of you read it at some point but WOW I was stunned by the ending. I've never been able to guess who committed the crime throughout the books but this one really took me by surprise. It was a classic not want to put it down book and I would recommend it to everyone and anyone. The Strike series was my entry in to crime novels and I love this series so much. Also, can we talk about the sexual tension between Robin and Strike in this book!? When are they going to get together!? I'm dying over here...I guess we'll have to wait and see for the next one.
You can purchase Lethal White on Amazon.
The Miracle Morning -Hal Elrod
So I started doing a revised version of the Miracle Morning at the beginning of the year thanks to the podcast, Find the Magic. Their pilot episode talked about their morning routines and how they follow the Miracle Morning structure. I really liked what they had to say about it but wasn't sure about incorporating all of it in to my morning. I do have a one year old and I work 5 days a week. But I knew I wanted to read the book at some point and really understand what the Miracle Morning was all about.
The Miracle Morning book takes you through how the author, Hal Elrod, came up with this ingenious idea for the Miracle Morning. He was a very successful guy but also has gone through plenty of trials in his life. At his lowest point, he knew he needed to figure something out of how to get out of the rut he was in. He started exercising in the mornings as well as doing some other personal self enhancement practices and thanks to all that, the Miracle Morning was born. Essentially, what the Miracle Morning is, is a morning routine that helps your personal development each and every day. There is an acronym for it and it is S.A.V.E.R.S. It stands for Silence, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. Elrod states that if you can incorporate SAVERS in to your morning routine every day, you will bring yourself up to a level 10 life and fall within the 5% of people in this world who are as successful as they can possibly be.
Before I had read the Miracle Morning, my morning routine looked like this based on what I had learned from the Find the Magic podcast...
6am: Wake up, stretch, wash my face
6:10am: Meditation (silence)
6:20am: Make coffee, light a candle, open the windows
6:55am: Affirmations/Visualizations/Gratitude (scribe)
So as you can see I was missing exercise. I have never been a morning exercise person but after reading the book I decided to give it a try. I updated my schedule to this...
6am: Wakeup, stretch, wash face
6:20am: Make coffee, light a candle, open the windows
GAME CHANGER. Just that 10 minutes of morning yoga has done wonders. I'm able to concentrate better and this way if I miss a normal workout that I usually do later in the day I don't feel as guilty because I did get my body moving at some point in the day. Let me elaborate a little bit too on my full routine in terms of the SAVERS acronym.
Meditation = Silence. I use the Headspace app every day and usually just choose to do the 3 or 5 minute daily meditation they have available. I downed my time from 10 minutes to 5 minutes to allow myself some time for yoga. I don't think it was much of a sacrifice because to be honest, I found it really hard to concentrate on mediation for 10 minutes right when I had just woken up. I was still pretty sleepy and even though I was sitting up so I wouldn't fall back asleep, I find my mind would wander off on random thoughts a lot more with the 10 minute sessions. So 5 minus of silence is perfect for me.
Affirmations. I have 3 affirmations written out in my phone that I read aloud every morning. They have to do with motherhood, my career, and taking care of myself. Prior to reading the book I use to write new affirmations every day. This really had no impact on my life because it was always changing and I would honestly just forget about them an hour later. By having 3 set affirmations now I remember them and I can concentrate on them all day every day.
Visualizations. This is supposed to be you actually visualizing what you want in life. I start small with this because my big picture of what I want in life is pretty far off, I'm not going to lie, so if I start small with visualizing how I want each day to go for myself and Kai then I'm always one day closer to that big dream that I visualize all the time. So how I go about doing this is I have a daily schedule written out for each day of the week for myself and Kai. Every day is different because some days I work from home, some days I'm in the office, some days we have a random event on our calendar, and weekends are always different. So I have a generic schedule for each day written down in my phone. I go through it hour by hour and visualize the day. It helps me to remember what needs to be done each day and I'm able to visualize how I want the day to go. By doing this I'm able to really predict and know what to expect from the day. No day ever goes according to plan but it really helps me organize my thoughts and plans for the day to make our dreams happen.
Yoga = Exercise. So like I said, I added this part in not too long ago. I do a 10 minute morning yoga session with Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube. It's a quick and easy way to get the blood flowing every day.
Reading. I've always loved waking up early and reading a book in the morning but I've never been able to consistently do it until now. I like to make a cup of coffee, light a candle, and open up all the curtains so I can see the sunrise as I'm snuggled up reading my book. It's so peaceful and it starts my day off so happen. Definition of hygge? I think so!
Gratitude = Scribing. My daily scribing is just writing down what I'm thankful for every day. It really starts my day off on a positive note and I love going back through and looking at each day and what I wrote down. I just keep a little note in the Notes app on my phone so I have it with me at all times, which is also where my affirmations and daily schedule are kept as well.
I also just want to throw this out there, ever since I've made this change our life has honestly gone up to a level 10. I 100% believe in God and that he is watching over us with my dad but I also believe that thanks to my effort for personal enhancement in the mornings, I have the energy and ability to work harder during the day to achieve the life I truly want for myself and my family. I highly recommend reading the Miracle Morning or simply just starting based off what I've told you here! If you're interested in a more in depth review of my morning routine or daily routines please let me know in the comments and I'd be happy to do some posts on them for you all!
You can purchase The Miracle Morning on Amazon. The Kindle version is free for Prime members, too!
UP NEXT: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
What are you currently reading? Share with my in the comments!
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!
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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