2017 Summer Reading

Summer starts on Friday in our house. Hubby is a teacher, so the last day of school means the official start for us.

This particular summer is a first for me though. Some of you are going to hate me for this, but this is the first one in my 26 years of life that I will work straight through. Seriously, privileged is an understatement, I know. Up until now I have been a student and/or employed by schools or teachers.

Alas, not this summer. But who am I kidding, I have a great job. To spite sticking out the summer 9-5, I am still excited to amp up my reading for the summer, because even if its only on the weekends there is nothing quite like a good book at the beach, or on the front porch, or by the pool… you get the picture.

Here are the books on my list (with affiliate links). Any quoted blurbs are curtesy of Goodreads. 

Mind Health:

 

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman – Lindsey West
Umm, My name is Megan and I am a loud woman.
Also, I am a loud woman who has felt like I have had to hide myself and be small in order to survive.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.”

Quiet – Susan Cain
So remember that time I told you I am loud? Its true, but I also walk the line of introversion and know a lot of people who are introverted. This one has been a game changer for a few people I know and I have been antsy to get my hands on it.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.”

My bookshelf bonus :


You are a Badass – Jen Sincero
I talked a bit about this one over at the May heart to heart. Jen’s book is full of really helpful tools and tips if your looking to grow in your understanding and championing of self. Its definitely one to take the good and leave the bad, but absolutely worth the read.

“In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word.”

Spiritual Health:


The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery – David G. Brenner
I am going to be honest, I have to read this one for a class I will be starting in the fall, but I am pretty excited for it.

“Discerning your true self is inextricably related to discerning God’s purposes for you. Paradoxically, the more you become like Christ, the more you become authentically yourself.”

Mhmm, I could use some help figuring that out.


Yes, And – Richard Rohr
One of my life goals for the summer is bettering my practice of prayer and meditation. This looks like a good place to start.

“Yes, and…is an excellent daily prayer resource for fans of Richard Rohr’s work, and those who are looking for an alternate way to live out their faith—a way centered in the open-minded search for spiritual relevance of a transforming nature.”

My Bookshelf Bonus


 Jesus feminist – Sarah Bessey
We have chatted a bit about this one as well. While Sarah writes as woman for women, this book is a refreshing call to stop fighting and let our being speak for itself. Sarah also beautiful gives words to explain an often mis/under represented cross section of christianity.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“Through a thoughtful review of biblical teaching and church practices, Bessey shares how following Jesus made a feminist out of her.”

Body Health:


The Real Food Athlete – Steph Lowe
I have been living the low carb life for a couple months now. I have read quite a bit about keto life, but nothing yet specifically combining keto and fitness.

 


Feeding the Hungry Heart – Geneen Roth
Geneen’s other book Women, Food, and God was a real eye opener for me. Disclaimer; I do not agree with her conclusions on “god” but that withstanding, her insight on the soul connection to food has helped me so much, I am ready to dig into another of her books.
Also, I love reading other human’s stories and remembering I am not alone in the world.

“Twenty years after its original publication, Feeding the Hungry Heart continues to inspire women and men, helping them win the battle against a hunger that goes deeper than a need for food”

My Bookshelf Bonus :


The End of Overeating – David A. Kessler
If your a fact nerd like me this book is one to get your hands on. Kessler looks at the problem of overeating both physiologically and psychologically with science to explain it all.

“Dr. Kessler met with top scientists, physicians, and food industry insiders. The End of Overeating uncovers the shocking facts about how we lost control over our eating habits—and how we can get it back.”

Social conscience:


Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
A dear friend gave me this book more months back then I care to admit. I have been staring at it on my bookshelf, yet somehow new ones have been piled on before I could get to it. Not anymore, its going to the top of the pile! Coates offers a unique lens to consider race in America as a father writing letters to his son.

“Thoughtfully exploring personal and historical events, from his time at Howard University to the Civil War, the author poignantly asks and attempts to answer difficult questions that plague modern society.”


Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance
If I am honest, it is way to easy for me to dismiss the perspective of the poor white American. Yet that voice has been dismissed over and over, and here we are. Its more important than ever that we listen to everyones experiences, not just the ones we relate to or prefer.

“From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.”

My Bookshelf Bonus:


Born a crime – Trevor Noah
For those who like to chuckle while they challenge their worldview, Trevor does an incredible job of getting you to laugh and really think deeply all at the same time. 

“The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.”

Just for fun:


He said She Said – Erin Kelly
Fiction is totally not my preference, but i like a good thriller when I want a tune out book. This one has been generating some buzz, so I figure I’ll jump on the wagon.

“In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever.”

Wonder Women – Sam Maggs
There is so much power in story and this looks freaking awesome.

“Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors, complete with portraits by Google doodler Sophia Foster-Dimino. Plus, interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations—all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help to build the future.”

My Bookshelf Bonus:

 

Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
This is a long one, but don’t be intimidated. Roberts book reminds me of of Forest Gump in that he finds himself in so many places and situations that you wonder “how can one life experience this much?”

“Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas—this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart.”

Whats on your list?

Keep your eyes peeled for Hubby’s list coming next week.

Friday Finds 6.16.17

Eh-oh, its Friday. How was your week? What are your plans for the weekend? We have more packing and moving to do, which has me all

But, Sunday we get to celebrate fathers day & my Mother-in-laws birthday! So, I will pack hard on Saturday to rest it up on Sunday.

 

Your links have been served:

  1. I’ll just be making this every day from ow on, mmkay?
  2. Do you want to come join me in a pool of your own sweat?
  3. Hubby and I saw Wonder Woman on Tuesday, and this tweet nailed it.
  4. I laughed, I cried, all the feels really.
  5. Yes, I needed this simple sweet reminder.

Friday Finds 6.9.17

Another week on the books folks, its Friday.

Hubby is coming back form a school trip to DC, and I am looking forward to some reconnecting time. Hopefully said reconnecting time will be spent in the sun, by some water, with a cold beverage. Its supposed to be hot ya’ll.

 

I found some links for ya:

  1. For the parents , the honorary parents, and care givers of all kinds.
  2. Just the inspiration I need for the piece of drift wood I found at the beach (that I may or may not have done nothing with for a full year)!
  3. Is anyone else on the kombucha train? I have been wanting to try and DIY.
  4. Invisibilia is back for a new season, and its shaping up to be quite interesting.

What caught your eye this week?

May Heart to Heart

So we are already 5 days into June. Which means we are almost at the half way point of 2017. Is your mind blown? Mine sure is.

Anyway, new month new meet up. I am detoxing coffee (yes, it is as crazy and awful as it sounds, but it is also really good for my brain, sleep, and reducing caffeine tolerance later. Three straight days of detox headaches were no bueno, but I am just about hitting the sweet spot) so I’ll grab some tea. Lets reminisce about May.

The Highs

Wedding season is upon us

Hubby and I got to celebrate two of our dearest friends tying the knot a couple weeks ago. They had the wedding at a Christmas tree farm in Warwick NY and it was STUNN.ING. They both looked so happy, and the day was truly beautiful. Also, there aren’t many things I enjoy more than busting a move on a wedding dance floor.

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First Beach Day

Did you know the beach is my favorite place in the world? Like its my peaceful, take in the greatness of God place. I was so thankful to get in a perfect day with my family, even my sister in law who was in town for the wedding!

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Memorial weekend

To kick off the summer season hubby and I headed to Buffalo to visit my family and so he could finally meet Miss Kinsley. Oh my gosh, she LOVES her Uncle. It was the absolute sweetest thing.

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& as if that weren’t good enough, Amanda was able to come all the way from Nashville, so almost the whole family was together (we missed Elias though☹️)

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IMG_4255The Lows

Funky funk town

As I look back over May, if I am honest, I just have a general feeling of ‘meh’. To be even more honest, I was just in a funk most of the time. I couldn’t quite get a hold of my mental space and kind of wallowed in it a little bit more than I wish I had. Like I just let a things get me down and keep me dow you know?

Hence the coffee detox mixed with a new supplement regimen, and morning routine I am trying in an attempt to get my head right. Do you have any tips for me?

 

What I Read

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero : Okay, so you always have to take the self help stuff with a grain of salt. But there were a lot of real helpful little nuggets I pulled from this one. Jen is funny and engaging and much less hippy dippy then some others in her genre. Definitely would suggest getting your hands on a copy.

The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning : The forward to this one puts it perfectly “To say that Brennan Manning has blazed new trails with this book would not be true. He has not. But to say Brennan Manning is attempting once more to plow up the hardened ground of our hearts, now that would be a true statement.”If your a lover of Brennan Manning as I am, you wont find anything new here, just the same sweet reminder that you are recklessly and senselessly loved by the God of the Universe. & if you as me, those are words worth reading again and again and again. This book has actually been part of my new morning journaling routine since the chapters are short and end with a couple questions to ponder.

What I watched

Parks and Recreation  Yes yes we are so late to the party, but Hubby and I just finished Parks and Rec and I am going to say it, it is definitely in my top 5 favorite tv shows of all time. I mean, you know me, so the pro feminism just makes me straight up giddy. But for real, Leslie and Ron’s relationship is my literal favorite. If you haven’t watched it yet, what are you waiting for? and if you have, it may just be time to watch again.

What I listened to

Chance the Rapper :So much Chance the Rapper. In case you missed it from Fridays post, I am just going to leave this here (I may or may not be personally responsible for about 500 views on this video)

Red Couch Podcast : It launched, and I love it. Propaganda and Alma are so funny and relatable and really make you feel like your chilling with them in their living room.

Something I loved

Now Foods Multi Vitamin so this is part of operation-get-my-head-right. I did some research and read some reviews and Now foods is a trusted brand to many a blogger and this multi has glowing reviews. The capsules are a bit big, and taking 3 at a clip feels like a lot, but so far it seems worthwhile. I have noticed my nails growing fast and stronger, skin clearing up and even without coffee I feel like I have increased energy.

What I am looking forward to

PARTAYY

One of my best friends freaking graduated NYU film school. He and his wife sacrificed so much and worked so hard for this, I cant wait to celebrate him with a big old fashioned party!

Schools out for the summer!

That being said, this month is going to be tough, BUSY with all the capitals for the Hubby, but the end is in sight!

 

How was your May? What are you looking forward to in June?

Friday Finds 6.2.17

Happy Friday folks.

I’ve got a busy weekend of packing and working ahead.

But I am looking forward to sleeping in just a little and catching up with my in-laws over dinner tonight.

How about you?

 

Here are a few things from the web

  1. “One two one two always on beat…”
  2.  Do you love completely improbable hypotheticals?
  3. More thoughts on heroes from Hubby.
  4. Whats yours?
  5. The best kind of ouch.

Bobby’s World : Heroes



I present to you Bobby’s World, monthly musings from the one and only Hubby!  


A few weeks ago, a fellow teacher and I were talking about our upcoming field trip to Washington DC and inevitably got on the topic of Arlington cemetery, which led to further conversation on the D-Day invasion during WWII.

We were talking about what it must have been like to have been a soldier on that stormy morning of June 6th 1944. Perhaps you had volunteered after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or maybe you had been drafted later as a replacement, as the death tolls rose higher and higher. Regardless of how you got there, you were crammed into a boat with other young men who were all asked by their country, future and present, to answer the highest call of citizenship; to defend their country and their freedom.

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The other teacher and I thought out loud, “What must have been going through their minds?” As the low rumble of the Higgins’ landing-craft motors churned through the high waters, I can imagine their hearts and minds trying to cope, sort and make sense of the barrage of emotions that were being thrown against them. Memories of home and loved ones far away, dreams of the lives they’d live if they returned home, silent prayers uttered to God above; all the while fear of death lingering in their thoughts and being stifled as deep down as possible. I’m sure many of them accepted what seemed to be the inevitable, and stared into the dark waters thinking of nothing at all.

And that fear of the “inevitable” was well warranted. The first wave at Omaha beach would endure a staggering 50% casualty rate, according to more conservative historians. Imagine for a moment, your life determined by the probability of flipping a coin.

It was in these young hands that our future hung in the balance. Many in their early twenties, and a few probably eighteen years old. What weight, what responsibility pressed upon that American youth who were asked to sacrifice their world for ours. Known as the “greatest generation,” it was not as much that they earned that title as it was simply who they were all along and displayed true greatness under such incredible pressure.

(One of my favorite post-rock songs written on behalf of the Greatest Generation. Instrumental.)

These men were heroes. They fulfilled Hemingway’s definition of courage as being “grace under pressure.” And such grace must be strong if it is to compel men forward across a half-mile of open beach under the hail storm of endless enemy fire.

This Memorial Day, I encourage you to remember those who have fallen on behalf of our nation, across our nation’s history and around the world. Personally, I like to close my eyes and think about the places that they went and the conditions that they faced. The frozen ground of Valley Forge and the rolling hills of Gettysburg. The fields of the Somme and the jungles of Vietnam. The forests surrounding Bastogne and the deserts of Iraq. The Chosin Reservoir of Korea, where my deceased neighbor Frank watched his entire platoon disappear in minutes. A small, unnamed village in Afghanistan where 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo, my mentor and company captain at West Point, would pay “the last full measure of devotion.”

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This post is kicking off a series for my future monthly posts, appropriately titled “Hero Series.” Through these posts, I will be highlighting some personal heroes of mine (some real, some fictional) and calling out their character traits that I hope to model in my own life. While it is my hope that you may be introduced to some new heroes and to hear some interesting stories about the lives of some personal heroes of mine, the goal is that you would be inspired to think about your heroes and what it is about them that make you look up to them.

Who your heroes are says a great deal about you. It shows what impresses you, what you hold in high esteem, what you value and who you strive to be. I look forward to sharing my heroes with you over the next few months, and I hope you do the same with me.

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*Hero #1 Hint* My next post will focus on a person who was called “Plain Jack” growing up, Irish by birth, middle name was Staples, and died on the same day as the John F. Kennedy assassination. (No googling for the answer!)

Photo Credit

Friday Finds 5.26.17

Its the weeeeekkkkeeeennnnddd! And a long one at that.

Hubby & I are making our way to the B-Low so he can meet our sweet niece and we can spend some time with my family. I am very excited.

Fingers crossed the traffic isn’t too bad.

Here are some links for ya

  1. By hubby’s request. If this doesn’t make you dance, I just cant help you.
  2. Gah, the struggle is real. But, I am thankful for the reminder.
  3. My nanny head is nodding, also my wife head and daughter head.
  4. Booty poppin.
  5. yum.