Tag Archives: Book Suggestions

Katie Loves This: Edition 7

Welcome to February, friends!

Is January always 99 percent busier than you expect it to be? It is for our family.

Here are some favorites that we’ve been stockpiling since our last edition of Katie Loves This. What have you been swooning over since we chatted last?

Katie Loves This- Edition 7

I seem to have an itch to buy a new pair of shoes and I’m loving these New Balance 420 Sneakers (Nordstrom, $70). I wear sneakers at least three days a week and I realized recently that all of mine are bright colors. A pair of black sneakers would be a nice addition. (However, I’ve vowed to not buy any more shoes until I Instagram-sell some of the ones I don’t wear. My shoe closets/baskets/under-the-bed storage containers are stuffed!)

Does anyone else already have summer on their mind? I certainly do. I’d love to build the kids somewhere to play in our backyard and have fallen in love with this design a million times over. I had pinned it three times, from three different websites, on my Outdoor Spaces Pinterest board and finally hunted down the original post on The Handmade Home. Which I’m now obsessed with via Instagram.

I’ve had the worst time finding a book to read since the new year. I’ve started and stopped reading a few books (including Lena Dunham’s, which I was just not that into, sadly), which I try very hard not to do. Last night, I started One Plus One by Jojo Moyes and it’s captured my attention. Have you read it?

Last, but certainly not least, I had to share this post from my lovely friend Nichole, who has also been my editor on-and-off for the past few years. This is her first post with mom.me, a site that I adore, and she nails it with her thoughts on keeping Valentine’s Day simple (SIMPLE!!!) and shares an easy way to do with her Failproof Valentine’s Day Treats.

Katie Loves This: Edition 1. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 2. October 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 3. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 4. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 5. November 2014.
Katie Loves This: Edition 6. January 2015.


A reading list for fall

Fall Reading List

While I feel like I did a lot of reading over the summer, I can’t wait for fall so that I can cozy up with a book more often. AKA read while Josh watches back-to-back-to-back football games. Here are some of my favorite reads from the end of the summer that will kick-off your fall reading list. This was an interesting, and varied, group, to say the least!

Fall Reading List- Summer House with Swimming Pool

This book was not what I was expecting, at all. It was one of the hottest books of the summer and I read it on the plane on the way home from Vegas earlier this month. I loved the moments of suspense, but all of the medical neurosis of the main character, who is a doctor, didn’t come together for me until the end of the book. I’m still torn about how I feel about Summer House with Swimming Pool, but I’d still recommend it. Curious to know what you think. I’m still processing this one! Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- Forever Interrupted

One of my favorite reads of the summer, I’ve had this book on my to-read list for a long time and I’m so glad that I finally read it. It was quick and romantic in an unexpected way, but with tragic heartbreak that wrenches your heart out at first, but then lets reality settle in. A must-read, in my opinion. Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- Outlander

This fantasy/historical fiction genre isn’t one that I read very often. But, this book had been recommended to me time and time again, so I went for it. I loved about half of the book. The other half, I skimmed through. The parts I loved, I really, really loved. It was filled with action and amazing historical details and lots of sex. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you might like this book and there are many more books in the series, if you like something to dig your teeth into. I’m not sure if I’ll continue on to the second book… Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- Goodnight June

If the fireplace on the cover doesn’t give it away, let me tell you… this is the perfect book to cozy up with this fall. Telling the story of how the childhood favorite, Goodnight Moon, came to be (at least, in the mind of Sarah Jio), I loved how the book wove its characters together, as they always do. A must-read for curling up next to your own fireplace this fall. Find it on Amazon.

Fall Reading List- The Fracking King

This book. It still has my mind in knots because I can’t tell if it was very good… or very bad. It was one of the Editor’s Picks on Amazon for July and the reviews were outstanding, but there were times when it felt terribly awkward. Maybe it was due to the painful coming-of-age story and its main character? I’d love to hear from you, if you’ve read this book… Find it on Amazon.

More on books I’ve read this year:

5 Books I just read (including one I hated)
7 Books I’ve read so far in 2014
More summer book recommendations

My favorite book lists on Pinterest:

Books to read
Books I read in 2014
Books I read in 2013

Please note: I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way and do not get paid for recommending you buy these books there. It’s just where I purchase my books. The end.

Reading list: More summer book recommendations

Summer Reading List

My appetite for reading has kept up this summer. I think I’ve read more books this year than I ever have… I’m finishing my 20th book right now. I just can’t seem to stop and crave my time reading of every moment of the day. It’s my way to relax, to escape, to fill some quiet time at home and to reward myself for getting through my to-do list.

I started the summer with these books, and have dug into some heavier novels and historical fiction since… with the exception of a lighter, fun read that I’ve been dying to share with you.

Your Perfect Life: A Novel by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
Lucky for me, I write with Lisa at allParenting, so when Your Perfect Life was born, I felt as if a friend was having a baby. It’s been so fun to watch her debut it to the world! I’ve read a handful of book that have been written by friends or people who I know or work with and there’s a curious element to doing so because I tend to picture the author as the lead characters in the book… and it’s hard to let that go and just enjoy what I’m reading.

But, my weird reading habits aside, I devoured Your Perfect Life and would highly recommend it. Liz and Lisa, who were previously of Chick Lit is Not Dead, co-wrote this story of two high school best friends, who accidentally switch lives at their 20-year high school reunion. Can you even imagine? Available on Amazon.com.

Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
I’m actually just two chapters from finishing this book, but I had to add it to this list because it is so, so interesting. A recommendation from my friend Molly, who appreciates a super-thick book as much as I do, Moloka’i is a historical fiction about a little girl who is sent to live in a leper colony in Hawaii in the 1850s. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but once I did, I was hooked.

Not only was the story interesting and compelling, but the history of Hawaii and this period — before, during and after the time that the United States took possession — was new to me and kept me intrigued. Available on Amazon.com.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
One of my dearest friends told me, no less than six times, to read this book. And I didn’t listen. War books aren’t really my thing… or so I thought. Unbroken just as amazing as you’ve heard it is. It’s so good that there’s a huge blockbuster movie coming out this Christmas based on the story.

It’s hard to simply touch on what this book is about, because it’s about everything. A memoir. A love story. A war story. A survival story. A story about friendship and dedication and perseverance and life. Be prepared, it’s gritty at times and if you’re like me, you’ll only be able to read a handful of pages at a time because it’s just so much to process. Available on Amazon.com.

Defending Jacob by William Landay
This book has been on my to-read list for a while and I’m not even sure where it came from, as it’s quite a departure from books that I typically read. However, it was worth the time and a great choice for a book to read while traveling. I was impressed with the flow of Defending Jacob, which skips back-and-forth in the lives of the characters, but does it flawlessly.

It’s a book that rotates around the murder of a teenager, a father who is defending his son and the trial that surrounds it all. The elements of the parenting dilemmas in Defending Jacob drew me in and I loved how satisfied I was at the end, despite never really getting any resolution. Available on Amazon.com (it’s only $3 for Kindle right now!).

Next up on my reading list is Sarah Jio’s Goodnight June. And, I keep hearing good things about Tell the Wolves I’m Home and Eleanor & Park, so maybe those will be next. You can find all of the books on my to-read list on Pinterest, as well as the other books I’ve read this year.

For more book reviews and recommendations on bellingFAM, check out:

5 Books I just read (including one I hated)
7 Books I’ve read so far in 2014
Summer book recommendations

I also wrote this article for allParenting earlier this summer: 10 Books to read poolside. And, in case you’re wondering, kiddie pools totally count.

What are you reading right now?

Psst! Amazon doesn’t pay me to recommend you buy your books there. It’s just a convenient place to link to give you more information on each book and where I happen to order books for my Kindle. Opinions are always my own. The end.

Reading list: 5 Books I just read (including one I hated)

The Husband's Secret

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

This was a good read. I didn’t enjoy it as much as What Alice Forgot, which is by the same author, but I did love the twists and turns in the story line and how all of the random characters inevitably became connected, the further I read.

The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I read this book after I had surgery because I was looking for something light and easy to read. This certainly fit the bill and I ended up really enjoying it. I love chick-lit that’s written from the male perspective. It was quirky and interesting, despite going on a bit longer than necessary in the middle.

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Undeniably, this was the best book I’ve read this year. It had been recommended to me over and over again, which made me skeptical, but everyone was spot on. It was delicious and I ate up every word. Plus, the ending was so satisfying. Put down whatever you’re reading right now and read this book.

Bridget Jones

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Once I started reading this, I realized that I’m not sure I’ve ever read any of the Bridget Jones books… I would have preferred to watch this as a movie (maybe it’s in the works?), as naturally I had Renee Zellweger in my head the entire time. Worth reading, but choppy.

Dark Places


Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

And lastly, the book that I hated. I don’t know why I’m so surprised. I didn’t like Gone Girl, so I’m not sure why I even tried Dark Places. I don’t often shy away from a book for being violent or dark, but there was something about this book that I just couldn’t stomach. I dreaded reading it. I do admit that I might like it as a movie (I think that’s in the works…), but man, it was just too harsh for me.

All book links go to Amazon. I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way, other than I buy my books via their site for my Kindle. In case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t…

Reading list: Goodnight June by Sarah Jio (Giveaway)

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

// This giveaway has ended. Please click HERE to see the winner on Rafflecopter. //

First of all, how much do you love this book cover? (I adore it.)

I’ve been anxiously awaiting Sarah Jio’s latest book, GOODNIGHT JUNE, which debuted this week, making it perfect for keeping me company while I’m laid up in bed recovering from having my tonsils removed. (Don’t mind that I can only read for about 10-seconds before all of these pain meds force my eyes closed!)

The way Sarah writes always enamors me. I fall in love with her characters, as flawed as they may be, and love how she connects the present with the past, linking in a bit of historical fiction throughout each novel in a new and interesting way.

Can’t wait to dig into your latest and greatest, Sarah!

And, of course, there can’t be a new Sarah Jio novel without a giveaway… The winner is free to pick a paperback copy or a Kindle edition.

Can’t wait for the giveaway to end to get your copy of GOODNIGHT JUNE? I confirmed that they do carry it locally at Village Books in Fairhaven (Sarah is a WWU alum!) or you can grab it on Amazon.

You can find Sarah Jio on her website, SarahJio.com, as well as on her author Facebook page and on Instagram, where she documents her life as an author and mom of three cute little ones.

To enter to win a copy of GOODNIGHT JUNE, please click the Rafflecopter link below:

// This giveaway has ended. Please click the link below to see the winner on Rafflecopter. //

 bellingFAM Giveaway for a copy of GOODNIGHT JUNE

(If you’ve never used Rafflecopter before, I promise that it’s easy and the BEST and safest way to enter a giveaway on a blog, as well as for me to run a giveaways on bellingFAM. No registration necessary. All of your information provided is kept private. U.S. residents only, please.)

This giveaway was provided by bellingFAM. No compensation was taken for this post.



Reading list: Momstrology (Giveaway)


// This giveaway has ended. Please click HERE to see the winner. //

Oh, how I wish I was in Seattle this weekend to attend this book signing and event with the AstroTwins, authors of the newly released book, Momstrology: The AstroTwins’ Guide to Parenting Your Little One By the Stars.

It seems to be the universal string pulling all mothers together — no matter where you live or how you choose to parent, we’re all always searching for the best method to guide little ones through this crazy world. I seem to learn this lesson with our kids over and over again — children change every single day and as they change, what worked yesterday certainly doesn’t work today. And, add in multiple children to the equation, each with their own unique personalities, and parenting can seem quite overwhelming at times. For me, it’s been the most surprising part about being a mom… and the most challenging, too.

I confess that I don’t read a lot of parenting books. Once upon a time, when I was a brand-new mom, I devoured them all. Now, with nearly 10-years of parenting under my belt (wow! how did that happen?), I’ve learned that, for me, the time I spend reading parenting advice is better spent in the trenches of parenting, connecting with my kids.

However, when Momstrology came across my desk for work, I knew that I had to peek through it. It happened to arrive on a super sunny week in Bellingham and I kicked up my feet in the back deck to dig in as the kids romped in the sprinkler to keep cool.

I loved that it’s more like a guidebook, rather than a read-it-from-cover-to-cover book. I know that my reading time comes in bits-and-pieces these days — I can sneak in 10-minute sessions (at the most!) throughout the day and the format of Momstrology lends perfectly to the way that moms read… in between grabbing snacks to keep hungry tummies at bay, while parked in the school pick-up lines, and on those never-ending doctor visit waits.

Another thing I loved about Momstrology? I didn’t need to have a background in astrology before I started reading. Beyond knowing my own sign and occasionally reading my horoscope when the suggestions pops up on Facebook, I know nothing about the stars or how to use them to look at what’s happening in my own life, let alone my kids’.

Momstrology lays it all out for you, from finding out what signs your kids are (I have a Pisces, a Virgo and a Libra) to using your own sign to discover your parenting style, as well as dad’s parenting style. Plus, for each child’s sign, Momstrology outlines everything under the sun, from learning styles to gift ideas to when to try to conceive if you want to have a baby of a certain sign.

This is certainly a book that I’m keeping handy for my many parenting years to come. I’ve already busted out a highlighter and dog-eared the pages that relate to my kids for future reference!Momstrology

If you’re in Seattle this weekend, or anywhere nearby, be sure to attend the Pine & 14th Family Day on Capitol Hill, which is on Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Not only will the AstroTwins be there to sign copies of Momstrology (get a picture with them and send it to me!), but there is a full day planned with kid-friendly events. You can read the details above and click through to the event page. And, if you attend, you get an extra entry to win a copy of Momstrology (Rafflecopter entry below).

To enter to win a copy of MOMSTROLOGY, please click the Rafflecopter link below:

// This giveaway has ended, please click the link below to see the winner. //

 bellingFAM Giveaway for a copy of Momstrology

(If you’ve never used Rafflecopter before, I promise that it’s easy and the BEST and safest way to enter a giveaway on a blog, as well as for me to run a giveaways on bellingFAM. No registration necessary. All of your information provided is kept private. U.S. residents only, please.)

A copy of the book and the giveaway were provided by The AstroTwins.
No other compensation was taken for this post.
All opinions are my own, as always.

Reading list: Summer book recommendations

I’ve been on a major reading spree lately. I have no idea why, but I’m loving it and busting through books like crazy. Here’s what I just finished reading and what’s coming up on my summer reading list. What are you reading right now? Any other suggestions?

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Apparently everyone is obsessed with this Young Adult novel and there is a big movie coming out this summer. I liked it and it was a quick read, but I wasn’t insanely obsessed with it. Maybe because I’m not a 15-year-old girl? Worth reading, however.

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I know that I’m late reading this book — it came out in 2011 and it’s been on my to-read list ever since. It was dark and magical and mysterious. Despite thinking that the ending got a bit jumbled up, I enjoyed reading it and would recommended it. It’s a thick book and took a few weeks to wade through, so save this for when you know you can commit.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

This book is perfect, perfect, perfect summer reading, in my opinion. I finished it in a couple of days (she insists that you do in the opening chapter) and I thought it was relevant and funny, especially if you follow pop culture and celebrity life… or, if you’re simply a 30-something trying to figure out this crazy world.

Morning Glory by Sarah Jio

Morning Glory by Sarah Jio

I’ve been trying to catch up with my sweet friend Sarah’s novels, but she is writing them faster than I can read! I devoured Morning Glory, which is based on a Seattle houseboat and this was the first book of hers that I read where I was so completely lost in the book and the characters that I stopped hearing Sarah reading it to me in my head! Highly recommend this one for some beach reading this summer.

I just started The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, on recommendation from my Seattle book club (who surprised and kidnapped me in Bellingham last weekend! it was sooo fun!).

For more book recommendations, check out 7 Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014. I keep a running list of books I’ve read on Pinterest, including what I’ve read in 2014, 2013, 2012 and books on my to-read list.

What’s on your reading list this summer?
Any recommendations for us?
(I’ll compile a list!)

All book links go to Amazon. I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way, other than I buy my books via their site for my Kindle. In case you were wondering, which you probably weren’t…


Reading list: 7 Books I’ve read so far in 2014

I didn’t really make resolutions for 2014, but in the back of my mind, I vowed to do more reading… and I’ve been keeping that promise, plowing through a book every couple of weeks.

Here’s what I’ve been reading since the beginning of the year. I always pin the books I’ve read, with recommendations to my BOOKS I READ: 2014 Pinterest board (here is my 2012 list and my 2013 list) and I keep a very active BOOKS TO READ Pinterest board as well.

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter

This was the first book I read this year and I have to admit that the cover caught my eye. I rarely read what a book is actually about before I start it. I love the mystery of not knowing (this is so not like me, in life, FYI). I did like this book. It was thick and hopped between different countries and cultures and eras, which kept my interest.

The Interestings

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

This has been my favorite so far this year, which was a surprise to me considering I couldn’t even finish Meg Wolitzer’s other book. This one took me back to being a teenager, despite the fact that these teens experienced life in a different decade than I did — I suppose that there are some things and experiences that are just intrinsic to being a teenager, right?

Divergent Series

The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

I just finished reading the last book a couple of days ago and now I’m dying to see the movie (want to be my date? i promise not to hog the popcorn). I thought this was a fun series to read and it caught my interest. Obviously it’s in the Young Adult category, although I thought it was a bit more mature than Twilight or The Hunger Games. The first book was definitely my fave and they went a bit downhill from there, in my opinion. The last two books felt like the were trying to hard and I almost wish I would have read the first book and called it a day. Did anyone else feel the same?

Revenge Wears Prada

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

If you were a fan of the first book, I would say that it’s a must-read. It went in a different direction than I was expecting and I’m really hoping that they make it into a movie. Mostly because this is the only Anne Hathaway that I can stomach. Perfect for beach reading or I-don’t-really-want-to-think-much reading.

What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I’d been hearing about this book for a while and knew that it was wildly popular, but I was skeptical. I hate getting so excited about a book that everyone is swooning about, then being disappointed when it’s not so great. However, I really loved this. The story was light, relateable and relevant.

Have you read any of these? What are you reading right now?