Favorite Subscription Boxes ft. Bookroo [plus SPECIAL OFFER!]

BR1I am a little obsessed with books.

Since I’ve had kids I’ve become especially obsessed with children’s books. I love to see what my kids latch on to and books are a great way to feed that obsession. (The current obsession in our house is octopuses and I still don’t know if I should be calling them octopi or if that sounds stuffy. I don’t want to sound stuffy and I don’t want to sound stupid so please enlighten me).

When I found out about Bookroo I was so excited to try it out because it is such a cute way to introduce my kids (okay and me…) to books we may not have otherwise discovered. Let me tell you, I have been SO pleased with the selections.

A little about Bookroo: They are a monthly book subscription service founded by women and run by three sisters-in-law. The books are reviewed by a panel of families at Stanford University.

There are three subscription options: Board book, picture book, and chapter books. If you have more than one kid and want two different subscription options, you can alternate subscriptions or get a discount on the second subscription.

This is a treasure trove for hidden gems, but especially as you get up into the chapter books boxes you’ll find great classic stories as well. The books are all developmentally appropriate and uplifting and I love how so many emphasize imagination.

One of the best things is that each book comes individually wrapped. My kids get so excited about opening their presents. It’s the little things.

If you want to give it a try you can get 50% off your first board or picture book box or 40% off your first chapter book box with the code BONNIE227. You can also gift subscriptions!

I think I need a birthday or baby shower of only book gifts someday…

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His face says it all. Go ahead and ignore mine…I was reading.

[This is an ad and I meant every word].

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Favorite Books Published in 2003

When I was about 8 years old I told my dad that I wanted to read all the books in our house. My dad is quite a collector of books, so even if I read a book a day I won’t accomplish that goal (I’ve come to terms with that and have decided a much more attainable goal is to read every book in my home). But it shows how I feel about books. When I’m in a library or any room filled with books I get so excited with the anticipation of all the things I could learn by reading their pages.

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I’m the toddler reading the upside-down newspaper.

So I was pretty thrilled to discover that on Goodreads you can see the most popular books published in a certain year (going back to 1918). I decided to compile a list of my favorites from 2003 (because I have read more than three books from that year). I have a goal to read more classics this year so I hope to see my list grow on some of those older published dates!

If you want to browse the lists by date, go here.

And now, the books I’ve read and liked from 2003:

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
  3. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  4. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  5. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  6. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
  7. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (and my boys love telling the Pigeon “no” too).

 

As always, please share your favorites in the comments! I’m all about finding more books to add to my to-read list.

*In case you are wondering, I tend to gravitate to non-fiction and historical fiction, but I also love me some Agatha Christie. So sometimes my lists may lean that way.*

Favorite Books that have been made into Movies

-This post isn’t sponsored by anyone. It’s all just my humble opinion.-

One of my New Year’s Resolutions (well, really my only solid resolution) is to read more classics. I minored in English and have read an embarrassing few classics. I’ve seen a lot of the movie versions, but I haven’t read them. So in honor of that goal I wanted to share some movies based on books that I’ve actually read and that I actually liked both versions*. For each item, I’ve included a link to goodreads and to imdb so you can learn more about the book or movie.

Life of Pi (goodreads | imdb)

Hunger Games trilogy (goodreads | imdb)

Harry Potter –all of them– (goodreads | imdb)

Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea (goodreads | imdb)

The Help (goodreads | imdb)

The Notebook (goodreads | imdb) Though I think the best part of the movie was the home renovation…

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (goodreads | imdb)

A Town Like Alice (goodreads | imdb)

The Book Thief (goodreads | imdb)

The Giver (goodreads | imdb) One of my favorite books of all time!

The Secret Life of Bees (goodreads | imdb)

A Walk to Remember (goodreads | imdb)

The Secret Garden (goodreads | imdb)

Bridge to Terabithia (goodreads | imdb)

The Maze Runner (goodreads | imdb)

Divergent (goodreads | imdb)

The Glass Castle (goodreads | imdb)

Austenland (goodreads | imdb)

Unbroken (goodreads | imdb)

And here are some where I’ve liked the movie and need to read the book:

Gone with the Wind (goodreads | imdb)

Pride and Prejudice (I know, I know) (goodreads | imdb – so many versions of this-)

All of The Lord of the Rings (goodreads | imdb)

Les Miserables (goodreads | imdb) But really, everyone needs to see the play…

The Princess Bride (goodreads | imdb)

The Great Gatsby (goodreads | imdb)

A Man Called Ove (goodreads | imdb)

Little Women (I’ve read about half of the book…) (goodreads | imdb)

Little Men (goodreads | imdb)

The Jungle Book (goodreads | imdb) (or the cartoon version)

A Little Princess (goodreads | imdb)

Freedom Writers (goodreads | imdb)

Pollyanna (goodreads | imdb)

…the list goes on…

*If you want to know others that I’ve read or seen and didn’t like, go ahead and ask me. I try to keep my public comments positive but there are things out there I don’t recommend. 😉

My Favorite Crochet Books: Toys Edition {+GIVEAWAY CLOSED}

The reason I wanted to learn to crochet was so I could make those cute toys I started seeing all over Instagram and Pinterest. My husband actually knew some of the basics already so he and my mom taught me. (And really I just love that I can say my husband taught me to crochet). Over the years I’ve gathered my absolute favorite crochet toy books, but I’m always on the hunt for a good craft project, so comment with your favorite if it’s not up here!

First and foremost, I love Edward’s Menagerie: Over 40 Soft and Snuggly Toy Animal Crochet Patterns

by Kerry Lord. Her company, TOFT, is one of my favorites to follow. I love the classic style of her designs and just want to make all of them.*GIVEAWAY details at the bottom of the page* Here are some more TOFT books that I have my eye on:

I definitely recommend getting these books in print rather than e-book format, because you have to flip between the standard instructions and instructions for specific details for each toy. In fact, I almost always recommend print for craft books.

If you know a literature lover, Literary Yarns: Crochet Projects Inspired by Classic Books

is the go-to for a cute, creative gift. I recently gave my dad Hamlet and even though he’s not into dolls, he still thought it was a clever gift. So there you go, even dads like them.

A lot of crochet toys are dolls and animals, and so far my boys just haven’t been really interested in those things. So I was so excited to find this book

! You can make big or small versions of the vehicles. They are quite a lot of work (the wheels actually turn) but they are totally worth it.

I also just found Construction Vehicles to Crochet: A Dozen Chunky Trucks and Mechanical Marvels Straight from the Building Site

while browsing and you better believe that’s going straight in the shopping cart. So my review will follow shortly. 😉

The reason I learned all this in the first place was so I could make that cute little Yoda from the Star Wars Crochet

kit. Since then I have tried projects from many other kits and these also have my stamp of approval:

I just found this one

while browsing and it’s going in the shopping cart…. So another review will be coming and if you try these projects before I do then please tell me how it goes!

Here’s a little slideshow of some of my makes:

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*For a chance to win a copy of Edward’s Menagerie, enter here. Winner will be chosen at random. Giveaway closes on January 8th.

Best Books for Getting Organized in the New Year

I love a good book about organization and what better time to get organized than January 1? These are my go-to home reference books:

  1. The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley  First of all, this book is beautiful. I have hunted down some of the products in the pictures because I love it that much. I love reading through a page and seeing how I can incorporate the tips in the correlating room. Not all advice works for the space you live in, hence, the other recommendations below:
  2. The Complete Book of Clean: Tips & Techniques for Your Home by Toni Hammersley A gorgeous companion to The Complete Book of Home Organization, sometimes I wonder if I bought it just to daydream about the day when my house can stay clean for ten minutes (I have toddlers). I love the recipes for homemade cleaners in this book. I started making homemade laundry detergent a while ago to help with my son’s eczema, and now I love making as many cleaning supplies from scratch as is realistic for us. I like using this book hand-in-hand with Simply Clean (see below).
  3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo  Our latest move was a downsize, so this book came in handy and we are still finding things we can part with. I’m not the strictest KonMari type, but I loved the idea of going through things by category instead of room (but with two little ones, I vote breaking it down into categories within a room…)
  4. Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up by Marie Kondo  This book is handy because it goes into way more detail than The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and helps show you how to break the decluttering up into smaller projects. With kids around, smaller projects is basically a necessity.
  5. Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day by Becky Rapinchuk Ten minutes a day is pretty ambitious in this house because my boys can undo all that cleaning just as quickly. But I love a good to-do list and this book has got lists covered. There are suggestions for weekly, monthly, daily, etc. tasks, as well as more of those homemade cleaning recipes. Because of those handy checklists, I highly recommend a physical copy over digital for this book.
  6. Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide by Gabrielle Stanley Blair  I read this book cover-to-cover, which is a little odd for a reference book, but I was soaking up all the tips from this mom! The pictures are beautiful, and I found so much great advice for making my house adult and child friendly (and still stylish!).