April 2017 Wrap Up

Somewhere in April, I just got a burst of energy and a huge desire to pick up reading again. I hadn’t even looked at a book in the past couple months and suddenly, I’ve engulfed myself in stories at all moments of the day. I have no idea where the desire came from but I’m rolling with it.

April has been a good month. Here in Central FL, the temperatures have started to rise and Chris & I have already jumped into the pool and laid out on the beach. I know it’s not summer but, warm temperatures bring a certain nostalgia with it. One that makes me think of camping, beach sand, and the smell of salty air and sunscreen. I love it and try to soak it up. Addison has spent several afternoons sitting in the front yard just to catch the last of the sun’s rays for the day.

Anyways, I wanted to do a bit of a wrap up for the month and a looking forward. This will just be kind of a bits and bobs post of sorts.

April 2017 Read // Those Crazy Sorokas
I listened to two audiobooks this month. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee was a book I had picked up with a free trial of Audible. I gave a review on Goodreads, but in case you don’t feel like clicking the link (it does contain spoilers), just let it be known that I loved Reece Witherspoon as the narrator. Her voice was exactly what I imagined when I thought of Jean Louise. I also liked how the book humanized Atticus.

The second audiobook that I listened to was Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. I checked it out from the library via the Overdrive app. I loved her book Room that I also listened to on audiobook awhile back. As much as I loved “Room”, I did not care for this book. I thought the narrator was decent but overall, the story was difficult to follow and I was looking forward to a crime centered historical fiction but the story ended up just focusing on Blanche too much for my liking.

For the books that I read in kindle format (all checked out of the library using the hoopla or Overdrive apps), I read somewhat of a variety. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur is a poetry collection that seemed to spread like wildfire on Instagram a few years back. I really enjoyed this collection. I didn’t think it was hands-down amazing but it wasn’t a waste of time. I enjoyed the sketches with the poems and thought it was worthwhile.

I saw a lot of buzz on youtube and Instagram about Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. This book was meh. I thought the main character sounded incredibly childish but I liked reading a story with a positive family image. It wasn’t outstanding, but it wasn’t horrible either.

I’m proud to say that I read my first Stephen King novel: Carrie. How have I gone so long without reading a novel by him?! I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the story was told from different perspectives through articles and book clippings. By the end of the book, I was so conflicted on how I felt about Carrie. At first, I loved her and felt horrible for the high school trauma that she endured. But by the end of the book, my love for her faded with every psychotic move she made and every person she helped into the afterlife.

I, of course, had to watch both the 1976 and 2013 movie adaptions.  Overall, the 2013 adaption won me over as my favorite of the two but I much preferred Sissy Spacek to Chloe Grace Moretz for the Carrie’s charater.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was another favorite for the month.  From the reviews I read, not many people seemed to like the main character, Camille, but I loved her. I think my temperament is very similar to hers and found myself relating her often. I thought the story was very interesting and the end of the book was intense. So much happened at such a fast pace, I couldn’t stop reading. I probably won’t reread this book because there is a serious self-harm trigger and some of those parts were very difficult to read, but otherwise, loved it.

April 2017 Currently Reading // Those Crazy Sorokas
I’m really enjoying the two books that I’m currently reading. I have to pick up the pace though because I only have 3 days left before I have to return The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman and 13 days for Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I have a love/hate relationship with checking out books from the library online (more love than hate, of course).

That’s all I have for this month! Comment down below with what you’re currently reading (and loving). I need some ideas for May!

 

April Six // Spring Book Rotation 2017

Like I mentioned in my last post, I have started rotating out Addison’s books so we can actually enjoy the books that are on our shelves. I explained last week that I have a handful of books that stick around for the entire season, but each month will feature six new books. Three board books that sit out in the living room with the toys and three story books that sit on the shelf in her room for story time before bed.

April was a very easy month to plan for because of the Easter. When I think of Easter, I think of pastels, eggs, rabbits, baby animals, and new life. Addison’s favorite board book, hands down, was the Bunny Hop. She loved pointing out the Sesame Street characters and has already flipped through the book at least a hundred times since she got in her Easter basket.

The other two board books aren’t looked at as much. However, I think they will become more of a hit next year and the year after. She is only 1 1/12 after all and doesn’t have much interest in counting or sitting for more than a minute.

Board Books
Happy Easter, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
The Easter Story by Patricia Pingry
Bunny Hop by Sarah Albee

Addison isn’t very good at sitting still and the only time I can sit with her and read a book is at bed time, right before bed. I can read an entire book and she will just watch quietly from her bed. I wanted to include a Golden Book each month because I have fond memories of them as a child. But for story time, I haven’t gravitated towards it. Maybe once she is older, but the other two books have been read several nights already. An Egg is Quiet and I Wish You More are both quick reads. I love the illustrations in An Egg Is Quiet and can definitely see this book stick around for many years, even through middle school if I end up homeschooling.

Hardcover
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston
I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The Fuzzy Duckling by Jane Werner Watson

Hope you all enjoyed my April 6. I’m a little late this month, but better late than never!

Spring Book Rotation 2017

I love books so much. I can remember cracking open the golden spines of The Pokey Little Puppy and The Color Kittens. I remember sitting in the dim lit room at my elementary school listening to Where The Red Fern Grows. I remember speed reading through the entire Magic Treehouse series and then reading them again because I loved them so much.

One thing that I have always wanted for Addison is that she would have a desire and love of reading. I want for her to become engulfed in stories and transported to different times and places and that her love of reading would foster her love of learning.

I have always made sure that Addison has always had books available to her. I mean, I know she’s not even two yet but it can’t hurt, right? We read Charlotte’s Webb while she was breastfeeding and listened to The Invention of Hugo Cabret during bath time. We look at our board books four to five times a day while we’re playing. And recently, we started reading a book before bed.

It’s not a chore or because I feel like we have to. I just love seeing her absorb the stories and pictures. She can’t verbalize everything but I know she has understanding of what is happening and what she sees. I can ask her to search for things on a page and she’ll point them out. I just feel so blessed to watch her grow.

Because of my love for books, I sometimes feel like my house is overrun by them. Addison has so many books on her shelves that we read the same four over and over. So I decided to set up a book rotation and rotate them seasonally. As of right now, there should only be 20 books out for Addison on her bookcase one time. Ten are board books and ten are hardcover story books that are a bit higher than her age level. Of those 20 books, 6 will rotate out each month. I wanted to keep some books on the shelf long enough for Addison to become familiar with them but I still want to add something “new” each month.

Of course there are books that stay out all year around. Some books you just enjoy no matter what time of year it is. However, those are on the family bookshelf for everyone to access.

So here are the 14 books that will stay on the shelf from March, April, and May. I know this season is almost over, but I got started late in the game. What can I say? If I were to choose a theme for this season, it would be life. I chose lots of books centered around animals as well as books that promoted excitement for the future. In addition to these books, I’m reading Charlotte’s Webb to Addison during bath time. I just love reading!

Board Books
A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni
Baby Animals by DK Publishing
Hello, Peter! by Beatrix Potter
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Oh My Oh My Dinosaurs by Sandra Boyton
Spring by Gerda Muller
Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Story Books
Edwin Speaks Up by April Stevens
If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden
My, Oh My – A Butterfly by Tish Rabe
Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

That’s all for my spring rotation! Hope you guys enjoyed and will stick around for when I feature my summer books.

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers

It’s crazy to me to think that Easter is right around the corner and I’m beyond excited. Maybe more excited than I was for Christmas. You see, Chris’ family has this huge tradition of Christmas stockings. Now that Addison is part of our family, Chris gets a lot of joy from passing the Christmas stocking tradition on. Because of that, I don’t really contribute to that part of the holiday. He plots and plans what he’s going to sneak into her stocking and I can tell he is so proud. This past year was particularly fun because Addison was old enough to participate. She would get excited, open presents, and loved reaching into her stocking to find something new.

The Easter basket is like the Christmas stocking of Spring. And I’ve taken the responsibility of planning out what’s going to go into the basket and the rest of the Easter festivities. I know for sure I’m going to do an egg hunt in the front yard. I can already picture Addison’s face when she discovers that the eggs are filled with gummy snacks and candy. (On a real note, my kid has an incredibly unhealthy obsession with gummy snacks. She wakes up and it’s one of the first things she asks for). So because she’s going to be overloaded on sweets during the egg hunt, I want to fill the Easter basket with non-edible items. I’m trying to slowly switch over Addison’s toys to ones that are made out of more natural materials.

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers // Those Crazy Sorokas

For basket filler, I chose to use a playsilk because I wanted every part of Addison’s basket to be something fun. There are a lot of different playsilks that you can find online but I ended up purchasing from Sarah’s Silks which is family-owned USA based company. The silk is so soft and I know that Addison is going to be using this constantly (probably going to be a blanket for her baby doll).

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers // Those Crazy Sorokas

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers // Those Crazy Sorokas

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers // Those Crazy Sorokas

Books are an easy gift basket idea. Elmo is my daughter’s favorite tv character and she will beg to watch the Letter and Number of the Day on youtube, so the Bunny Hop by Sarah Albee is going to make her flip out. I chose the book Spring by Gerda Muller, mostly because I loved the illustrations. I already know I’m going to buy the other three books in her seasons series because they are just so beautiful to look at.

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers // Those Crazy Sorokas
Holztiger is a toy brand that I’m obsessed with. Like Gerda Muller’s books, I think they are so beautiful to look at. I’m trying to grow a collections of the Holztiger figurines for Addison. She already has a grizzly bear, panda, cat, and dog. I chose the bunny for obvious reasons and then the chameleon because it was the closet thing I could find to match Puff, our bearded dragon. I’d love for her to have a some farm and ocean animals as well but because Holztiger figurines are handcrafted and hand painted with nontoxic materials, they’re more expensive than the plastic animals you find at Target. I definitely think the price is worth the product though.

Non-Edible Easter Basket Ideas for Toddlers // Those Crazy Sorokas
Last but not least, the felt carrots. I bought mine from the dollar section at Target but I’m sure you can find an etsy seller that makes them. I thought they would look nice with her basket and she could use them with the pots and pans my mom bought her for Christmas this past year.

And that’s everything! I just wanted to share with you what I came up with to put into the basket. Next year I might add bubbles and chalk. If you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments section so that I can take notes for next year!

Sarah’s Silks Rainbow Playsilk // Holztiger Chameleon // Holztiger Bunny // Felt Carrots (Target Dollar Section) // The Bunny Hop (Sesame Street) by Sarah Albee  // Spring by Gerda Muller