Lil Lemon Drop

Lil Lemon Drop
Happy Clothes for Happy Kids
posts in category reading

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Perfect moments, not perfect planning

 


Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

Have you been playing the balancing game-trying to give everything and everyone just the right amount of time and attention? I have been thinking about time management lately, and while I  know some schedule out each day, week, month, to perfection-I know this isn't the route for me. 

Schedules vs. Routines

First of all as an INFP (what's that? here's 16personalities description), the word schedule itself makes me a little cranky. I like routines, mind you. A quiet morning coffee in hand, contemplating life and where I stand in it, are just perfect. Every day. Slipping into bed, the perfect amount of lighting in the room, book or ebook in hand, pillows fluffed just right, is perfect every single day. But all that stuff in between? Let's keep it loose. Let's NOT make plans. Let's let it unfold naturally. 

Let It Happen

I don't know how I will feel next Sunday afternoon. How can I possible feel anything but dread if you try to force me into some arbitrary activity outside of my home. That's not to say Aunt Kate's backyard barbeque followed by a trip to Walmart and drive to Branson won't be exactly what I need. But how can I know that now?

I realize I am difficult.

And I have been thinking that maybe for people like me, it is less about perfect balance and more about perfect moments. 

This week I will shower my kids with attention and activities, next week they will play with the neighbor kids and I'll catch up on laundry. Today we have an impromptu game night and whoever can make it makes it. Next week, I'll screen my calls and snuggle in bed with a book and a glass of Cabernet. Perfect moments happen. They can't be planned.

When I discovered my newly remembered love for fiction reading, it changed my focus away from my online shop. And I realized I was done with the shop. Reading has always been a greater passion to me than kids' clothes. Reading changes my soul in a way that trying to earn money cannot. So one was let go and one I continue to pursue.

A Surprising Need for Control

This doesn't mean I am easy-breezy. In fact, I often doubt my INFPness due to my need for control and pickiness. I am not okay with just any background noise (and honestly, silence is golden to me). I can't just let the radio play. I need the right song at the right time, or nothing at all.   In fact, I often think my lack of commitment to future plans has more to do with my need to control the atmosphere by attending to my current mood than any happy-go-lucky easygoingness. And I think people misunderstand that and either steamroll me or think I am being intentionally difficult. I am just being me.

Recap

So, if you are finding you are struggling with finding the right balance or the right schedule or the right PLAN-maybe you are like me. And maybe focusing on your comfort routines and maybe letting your need to attend to your current mood and feelings are what you need in the future (I ALSO easily think I could be an ISFP (description HERE)-despite my lack of artistic prowess-especially when I am healthier and not ruminating on things. I would be totally cool with that, too).

Currently:

Listening  Spotify:

ACOMAF | Feysand| A Court of Mist and Fury | Feyre and Rhysand



Rereading


Also reading:


This post contains affiliate links for https://www.amazon.com/

Drinking:
Reusable K-cup mix of Great Value french roast and Creme brule!

Sunday, August 30, 2020

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and the After Series

 This post contains affiliate links.



The Bookish Life of Nina Hill 


was recently loaned to me by a coworker. I read it quickly, as I found Nina somewhat akin to my soul. From books to a bookshop, to a perfect sounding apartment, Harry Potter references, and trivia-Nina is just living the introvert life. She really gets out quite a lot despite calling herself an introvert-she just doesn't go for empty, mindless pleasure. Nina is likable and relatable and this book is nothing if not a modern day fairy tale for bibliophiles. My only issue with Nina is how she didn't just clear off a page in her book for Prince Charming (whose profession is DELIGHTFUL), because she stuck to her plans too stringently. I couldn't do that-I'd toss the planner out the window for romance, but overall, it was a lovable fun book.


After


I have been craving romance lately, and after watching After, the movie, on Netflix, I found myself hooked. I went ahead and purchased the book and read through it quickly. I am not going to go into great detail of the harrowing, morally questionable journey I am going through right now 

but I am going to say, I like it and I don't care who cares.


After We Collided

I am currently reading the second book in the series, After We Collided. And you know what? I am loving it. I know the drama is ridiculous-the characters are so immature-and the misunderstandings abound. But alas, wouldn't life be dull if we couldn't dive into the fictional, dysfunctional, passionate relationships of interesting and beautiful characters?

Now, I have the house to myself for several hours, and I am alternating cleaning with reading (trading off,  straightening one room and reading a chapter). Perfect. I really just wish someone would drop off some laundry detergent and a can of pumpkin so I could make pumpkin bread on this overcast day (and do laundry). 

This day is fabulous!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Reading together, brotherly love


This post contains affiliate links.

It has been an effort to keep my ten-year-old reading during this break from school. He would much rather do a hands-on experiment, watch a YouTube video of someone doing a hands-on experiment, play Minecraft, or just ride his scooter around than sit and read a book. However, as both a teacher and a mother, I know how important it is to continue reading. Not only does reading practice those important skills, it introduces the reader to new vocabulary, and far beyond academics, enlarges the reader's worldview and the whole scope of their life. If you think I am being dramatic. I am. It is! Reading can absolutely change a person and change a life. Think back to those first chapter books which have really stuck with you. If you read and reread enough, those books become a part of who you are. That is why I love sharing books in my classroom, even if I am reading or we are listening to an audiobook. Stories broaden our world. I learned history though teen romance novels and science through adult literature-and learning this way is painless!

Off my soapbox now. I want my boys to understand and share my love of reading. I also want them to have a shared experience beyond who can ride their scooter the fastest down the road. So I have made a deal. Some might call it a bribe, but I prefer to consider it a business deal. My older son is reading this famous book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone aloud to my seven-year-old, and I am providing incentive to do so.

Now, you might be a little shocked over the incentive, but hear me out. First, my 10-year-old doesn't like Harry Potter. Magic isn't real and he lives very much in the world of real, or at least theoretical. However, we are a Harry Potter family, and I strongly desire to get his Ravenclaw butt hooked. My seven-year-old likes Harry Potter, but could use more opportunities to practice sitting quietly and listening. Also, I remember listening to my brother read books such as The Hobbit and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe aloud to me. I could see those gigantic spiders swooping in ready to gobble up the Bilbo and his friends. I could feel the respect and awe reserved for Gandalf. I, too wanted to step through the doors of the wardrobe into a magical world where adventures awaited. I want my sons to share that experience of wading through imaginary lands on an adventure together.

We have purchased the Illustrated edition, because it is so beautiful. I just love the pictures and I believe they will draw in the young listener. There is enough text, however, they will still have to rely upon their own imaginations to help create this world in the clouds.

It's risky-pushing someone to do something which I would like to come from the heart. If things work out perfectly, then they will enjoy it so much, they will ask for the second book, and continue on an amazing childhood adventure together. If it doesn't, then my son still won't want to read for fun, and the bonding I hope happens will form somewhere else. At that point, I will continue to read aloud to them in the evenings, but it is proving difficult to always fit the time into our evening routines since the three-year-old is staying up later.  They will have to bond over BeyBlade competitions and Minecraft discussions. I am excited to see how it turns out!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What I have been reading...

Having all this time is both a blessing and a curse, isn't? Those of us who are lucky enough to work and home aren't feeling the financial strain as badly, but there are still conflicting emotions to work through and face each day.

I will tell you this blog contains affiliate links from Amazon.

Sometimes I feel like this is just an extended weekend, and other times I feel like I have been living this forever.

First and foremost, getting paid to stay home with my family is my dream come true. However, it isn't quite like I had planned it. First of all, I do have at least a couple hours of paperwork, grading, and phone calls to do every day. As a special education high school teacher my grading load might be lighter, but IEP and evaluations still have to be completed one way or another, if possible. And it's all good. I love being home. What surprises me though, is how little energy I have left for my family. Someone told my husband, he was lucky, his wife was a teacher, as if teaching my own would somehow be easy. And the answer is, "Nope." If my first grader doesn't want to practice reading (and he is learning slowly) he will throw a pillow across the room, do a karate chop kick jump, while screaming, "No." My fourth grader lives to learn-but only what he wants to learn. Science facts and experiments. Anything else is a struggle. Which sucks, because he is going to need those math skills to advance far in science. Throw in a three-year-old (and folks, my kids have ENERGY, fire and vim (wonder where they get that)), and it makes for a long day.
So yes, I have everything I want temporarily, and no, it isn't quite as I had imagined.

But between working on work stuff, blog stuff, business stuff, and family stuff, I have been trying to read as much as possible. So here are my recents reads, affiliate links, and opinions!




The Career Code This book is subtitled Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish,and Self-Made Career, and includes 27 Life Hacks Every Woman Should Master!

Combining fashion and career advice, this book would be perfect for the new graduate just starting her career! I love fashion advice, and the career advice would have been useful to me years ago, before I made a bazillion mistakes, not understanding the cardinal rule, it's who you know, not what you know. Actually, I sort of suspected that, but couldn't figure how to get to know who you needed to know, you know? Introvert failings and all. It still was a fun book to read, and I highly recommend it to the 20-something gal.

In answer to that question how you get to know who you need to know, this next book just sort of has it.

Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities that Make Us Influential

It is so good. It really takes all the stuff your gut kind of knows, throws a little research behind it, and throws it back in your face in a palatable way.







This Kindle book is just fantastic. I am only about halfway through and I have learned so much. From explaining stereotypes and how they affect us all (it helps to be white, male, and attractive), to giving real advice on how to feel and exude more power, I am treasuring this book. This book acknowledges that some people have an advantage, but (so far) I am appreciative of the helpful advice that is given to those who aren't from a most privileged spot. The main idea of this book is that influence comes from both strength and warmth. It is important to have the right balance of strength (power to get things done) and warmth (overall likeability). This balance differs depending on who you are. Men can get away with exuding more strength, but women who show too much strength run the risk of being labelled a bitch and disregarded. Too much warmth though will have you disregarded as sweet, but ineffectual. It addresses how to get the balance right in order to  boost your level of influence.

Back in the fluff department I am flipping through

Parisian Chic Look Book: What Should I Wear Today?






I got this book from the library, but it is a book which simply BEGS to be owned. With its gold foild color and its fabulous color photos of classic pieces of clothing and how to put the pieces together for certain occasions including the ubiquitous "From Office to NightClub" all the way to "At the Courthouse for my Divorce,"  it will become a classic on your fashion/self help shelf for sure!

Now we get into my latest interest, Manifestation and The Law of Attraction. This is a whole new can of worms, which I plan to do more posts on, both bookwise and discuss my passions and conflicts with the light movement, but I have just worked through these books, so I wanted to add them here.

The Magic Path of Intuition




A quick and simple read, you will find yourself refreshed and hopeful after completing this read. The stories are simple and straightforward, and it makes for a nice read sitting in the backyard watching the kids play in the sunshine.

Liquid Luck: The Good Fortune Handbook



This kindle edition is fairly short, positive, and upbeat. It is all about recognizing with gratitude the abundance which already surrounds you. I am only about halfway through. Although I haven't found anything that can't be found elsewhere, if you want an introduction or referesher into abundant living, this book would be fun to read.


The Tapping Solution for Manifesting Your Greatest Self




So here is what I have discovered. At this point, tapping is not for me. Now I can throw my hands up, thumbs pointed toward myself with Gabby Bernstein on Youtube, but I can't quite bring myself to tap through my anxiety. It's NOT a BAD idea. In fact, I think for many people it might be a fantastic way to get control of anxiety so they can move from the shadow to the light. But my anxiety is highly caffeine driven and sitting still tapping my body isn't my thing right now. I will keep it in mind for when I become a little more peaceful and still.The OTHER information in the book is absolutely useful.


Fiction

Now on to fiction. I have managed to get a little fiction reading in!

In the Dark, Dark Wood

Now I read this book on the kindle app on myphone, but I think fiction is best tasted with paper.




At first I felt a bit of embarrassement reading this. I guess I am a bit of a book snob, and nothing here was calling out literary genius. But I got hooked on the book anyway, pulled in by average characters who just seemed kind of cool and trying to figure out whodunnit. I do think it was predictable, but just seeing how it all unfolded made for a lot of fun. I couldn't put it down!

In An Instant




This young adult book was not what I thought! I guess I didn't carefully read the summary first, but it took a turn fast, and I was along for the ride watching it all unfold. There were characters who angered me: those who were selfish, and those who were judgemental of the selfish people. I felt Mo's character was just a bit too perfect and idealized, but overall, the book had me caring about a tidy ending and truly loving the character Chloe. It was fun to watch this family, whose real balance lay in a strong mother, fight and struggle as they grieved and learned to love again.


If you are going Corono-Crazy or just want to try something outside your comfort zone, I recommend these books. Time is a blessing and let's make the most of it.

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