8 Great Summer Reads

I am seeing a ton of talk around the best book to take to the beach this summer. I thought I would compile a list of books I have loved in the past that would make great reads when you are able to make some time for yourself. Any books you would add to the list?

Where the Crawdads Sing

I would argue that this is THE book of the year. I have seen so many people talking about it–and for good reason. I thought it was slow to start but about a quarter of the way in I could not put it down. I devoured the final third of the book over two nights and was genuinely sad it ended. Think: love story, beautiful writing about North Carolina landscapes, mystery. Image result for where the crawdad sings

This Will Only Hurt a Little

Busy Phillips has been a favorite Instagram follow of mine for awhile. She’s funny, refreshing and offers a unique glimpse into her celebrity life–all while seeming like a mom you would be glad to run into at school pickup. Her book is an extension of her instagram persona. Think: behind the scenes celebrity stuff, early 00’s nostalgia, parenting laughs.This Will Only Hurt a Little

The Middle Place

I devoured this book last summer at my parent’s place in Hilton Head. Sometimes being with family can drive you crazy and summer vacations are ripe for the opportunity to be annoyed–but this book gave me such great perspective. I laughed. I cried. I felt grateful. Think: great perspective on motherhood, camaraderie, memoir.Image result for the middle place

Seat Arrangements

Beach reads are supposed to be guilty pleasures: slightly dramatic, indulgent and full of love stories. This one checks all of those boxes. It’s set in New England and takes place as a wedding unfolds. It contains all of the romance, betrayal and family dynamics you need to keep turning the pages. Think: rich people, family dynamics, wedding drama.

Image result for seating arrangements novel

Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

I love this book. I have purchased and gifted it several times because its one you’ll want to share. Cheryl Strayed has such a way with words and her life experience offers such great perspective on a variety of situations. Think: advice, affirmations, quick read. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give

If you’re married or thinking of getting married, this is a fantastic read. It is so real and raw–a telling of Ada Calhoun’s marriage without falling into the trap of being cliche or overly glossy. She tells the good, bad and ugly while somehow reminding how truly wonderful it is to be married. Think: marriage, humor, essays.

Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give

Hanna Who Fell From the Sky

I am a sucker for anything about cults and religions so I was drawn to this novel about a young girl coming of age in a polygamist community. I was rooting for her the entire time and couldn’t wait to find out what happened–and was truly shocked when I did. Think: page turner, coming-of-age, romance

33656823

The Engagements

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It tells the story of a singular engagement ring as it travels through generations of couples. The perfect beach read because its romantic, fun, and engaging. Think: historical fiction, all of the reasons we fall in love. Image result for the engagements

 

 

How She Does It: Abigail Schneider

This week’s installment of How She Does It features our community manager in the Triangle Area, Abigail Schneider! She is truly the PlatinumSitters expert and is a magician at finding amazing babysitters, In addition, she is raising a baby of her own! Working from home with a little one around is a true challenge and she makes it look easy. Read on to find out how she does it!

Abigail Schneider

Community Manager for the Triangle Area

Mom to Neil II, almost 1

Partner to Neil

Uses PlatinumSitters: Weekly

Your son is 1 ! What has been your favorite stage thus far?

I have loved it all, but the older he gets when new words enter his vocabulary and he learns new things it is so much fun.

What is your biggest struggle in terms of finding balance?

  With a partner who works long days, travels and is gone most awake hours, I have had to learn to let go and set small realistic goals for myself. I have also tried to learn to time block so that I can be present for my child and devote my full attention to work when focusing on that.   

How has PlatinumSitters helped you in that pursuit?

PlatinumSitters has helped a ton with the days/weeks my son is out of “school” or if I have a week where I am overloaded and overwhelmed. I book a sitter for just a few hours so I can dedicate that time to nothing but getting my things done.

What would you go back and tell yourself as a first time mom?

  To believe everyone when they say “time goes by so fast” and to really enjoy each and every little moment. To also be easy on yourself and be sure to take time for yourself to reset if possible. 

 Quick! You have two hours of kid-free time…what are you going to do?

  Either run for the car to run errands kid free OR lay across the couch while catching up on my shows and doing nothing 🙂

The 10 Phases of Dieting After Children

A few girlfriends and I were talking about what we are doing to lose the baby weight and what we have done in the past that has or hasn’t worked and it made me laugh thinking about what a predictable cycle it can be…

Resolve

Enough is enough! I am doing this. We have a wedding/trip/anniversary/birthday. There will be photographs. Must. Lose. Double. Chin.

via GIPHY

Research

Okay, what is everyone on the Internet doing? Scrolls hashtags: #newmombod #postpartumweightloss #losingbabyweightafter3years

via GIPHY

Shopping

In order to lose the weight, I need all of the things. Weights. Shakes. Supplements. Give me one of each. Shop the parameter. Trader Joes or Whole Foods only–regular grocery stores are a death trap of preservatives.

via GIPHY

Meal Prep

A crockpot full of shredded chicken. Diced veggies. Washed lettuce. Black beans on black beans. All. The. Rice.

via GIPHY

The First Morning

Here we go! We are locked and loaded. Bulletproof coffee. No breakfast–my eating window starts at 10. Headed out for a walk…feeling good.

via GIPHY

9 am.

Been up with the baby since 6. I. am. starving. Why does my husband have to have breakfast? Is he trying to sabotage me?

via GIPHY

10 am!

Time to eat! Don’t want to ruin all of this hard work with junk. Reaching for eggs, avocado and fruit!

via GIPHY

Lunchtime For The Kids

Jaxson left half a nugget. What harm could half a nugget do? ITS HALF A NUGGET. Dipped in ranch. Washed down the remnants of a juice box…

via GIPHY

Bedtime

We are a sinking ship. I am tired. If hearing “mama” burned calories, I would be strapping on some Victoria Secret angel wings. I want cookies. Wine with my husband: yes please!

via GIPHY

Acceptance

You know, I tried but honestly, I love my body. It’s fine. They make really cute clothes in this size. I will just go shopping. I need to model body positivity, anyway. I am so done with this.

via GIPHY

Wash, Rinse, Repeat–Am I right?!

International Women’s Day

Thank God for Girlfriends.

Are you like me and wonder–when did we start celebrating all of these “days”? I feel like when we were kids, there were a few important days on the calendar: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my birthday. Now, there is a day for all kinds of things– I am here for it!

Today is International Women’s Day and what I found surprising is that this has been a “thing” for decades! The first “Women’s Day” was organized in 1908. I am so proud of what the women before me have done in the time since and excited to see where things are headed.

Of course, today is not just about famous quotes or instagram posts–although those things are fun and worthwhile! There are a lot of important conversations happening to day in addition to events all around the country.

Wondering how to celebrate today? Here’s a few suggestions

  • If you are going to post, consider using the official hashtags #balanceforbetter and #IWD2019. You can find out more about the #balanceforbetter campaign here.
  • If you’re in Charlotte, go check out the new mural at the Hal Marshall Annex on College St. It is by artist Nick Napoletano.
  • Tonight, in Charlotte, there is also a free event at the International House on Central, celebrating the Balance for Better theme.
  • In Raleigh, you can support any one of the number of female run businesses featured here.
  • Want to involve your kiddos? This is a fun resource to teach them about pioneering women who may not be feature in their textbooks.
  • If all else fails, call your mama, your sister or your best friends and thank them for the ways they have contributed to your life.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”