Currently // 3.12.17

1 // Considering having this print framed.

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[print available in this Etsy shop]

Mike has been in Hawaii for a week, closing out a very full couple of months of traveling, and we are WAY ready for him to come home! Landon has been more emotional than a thirteen-year-old girl, and Alex demands that we play “Life’s a Happy Song” by “the BUPPETS!” on a loop. I may very well, in fact, lose my mind up in here, up in here. Hurry home, babe!

2 // Binge-watching The Mindy Project and considering re-bingeing Mad Men for the third time, because why not? Counting down until The Handmaid’s Tale and the new season of House of Cards premiere later this spring!

3 // Planning my spring break reading list! Here are a few of the books on my radar:

Modern Lovers // The Hopefuls // Forever, Interrupted

Jennifer Close and Taylor Jenkins Reid are two of my favorite authors, and the preview I read of Modern Lovers hooked me from the beginning. If you haven’t read Close or Reid’s other books, do it! You won’t want to put them down.

4 // In love with The Mom Capsule!

I could live in all of these clothes, probably because they’re #sobasic. Love the idea of a capsule wardrobe around a few essentials! Might save me from staring into my closet forever every morning so I can pack a lunch for work like a real grown-up. Thinking I could probably build one with the clothes I already have, but I’m definitely crazy-enamored these three shirts, accessories, and with these pants!

5 // So proud of our little preschool nugget!

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He started a sight word challenge last week, and has already learned twenty-eight sight words. Seriously, who is this smart cookie?

He’s been with mostly the same crew since they were two years old, and his preschool recently created a separate class for ten of the kiddos who were ready for more of a challenge. How awesome is that?! Landon loves to learn, and we couldn’t imagine a more perfect place with more amazing teachers to help him grow 🙂

6 // Drinking all of the Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiatos. It’s becoming a problem.

7 // Sharing one of our favorite prints from the gallery wall in our master:

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[custom from this shop on Etsy]

Today’s sermon– and the whole Love Songs series- has really made me appreciate the guy I get to share this life with! Definitely worth watching or re-watching (and how gorgeous is that print from JS Lettering?!).

7 // Looking forward to lots of fun this spring and summer! Mike and I are heading to relive our pre-kid glory days at a John Mayer concert in DC in April, and we are traveling to Florida in June for our first family vacation since, oh, 2012. We have big plans for the beach and a day trip to Disney, but Landon is mostly just excited about being on an airplane.

Also looking forward to the impending blizzard, because who doesn’t love a couple of snow days?? Here’s hoping the meteorologists got it right and we’ll be snuggled up in our PJs for a few days this week 🙂

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Currently // 4.6.15

Soaking up the last few hours of spring break! I’ve gotten so much work done for school and around the house, which probably doesn’t sound very relaxing BUT productivity is all that’s keeping me from losing my mind these days. Slow mornings with coffee, the Today Show, my MacBook and a quiet house have become my love language.

Trying REALLY HARD to focus on anything but Baby. Blame third trimester hormones or the fact that I’ve been off of anxiety meds for the better part of a year, whatever. In all likelihood, I have another six weeks to get through, but I’ve read enough blogger stories like this one and know enough people who have gone early recently that I’m going a little crazy over here. On top of that, this next month at school is going to be so, so busy! I know it’s going to take a lot of work on my part to be present for it, instead of existing as a walking bundle of nerves.

Fending off post-apocalyptic nightmares, thanks to binge-reading Station Eleven in one day. Definitely a must-read!

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Quick summary– a flu pandemic wipes out 99% of the world’s population in a matter of weeks, and the story kind of jumps between the before and the after via five-ish intertwining storylines that all go back to a celebrity. Could not put it down.

Following the hashtag #whoawaitwalmart on Instagram, and you should, too! Lots of cool finds that I don’t have time to search for with a toddler in tow (whose patience is only bought with fruit snacks).

Sharing links to my favorite bloggers. I borderline stalk all of these amazing women, because a) they have incredible stories to tell and b) the moral of their stories? You are not alone.

The Life and Writings of Kate Baer

Where My Heart Resides

Coffee + Crumbs

Girl’s Gone Child

Little Baby Garvin

Navigating a time of big changes at the Kozlowski house, and meditating on these words:

(and eating a lot of Easter candy, obviously)

Happy Monday, everyone!

25 Before 25: Read Five Books

1 // What Alice Forgot

In a Nutshell The main character is Alice, a thirty-nine-year-old mom of three in the middle of a divorce. When the story opens, she falls at the gym and wakes up thinking she’s actually twenty-nine, pregnant with her first child and madly in love with her husband. In the ten years that she can’t remember, she’s turned into a person she didn’t think she would be and has no idea who her kids are or why she’s divorcing her husband. Things come together for her in pieces, slowly at first, and I couldn’t help but get sucked in.

You will probably like it if you’re looking for something easy to pick up and put down between making dinner and putting together Paw Patrol puzzles.

You probably won’t like it if chick-lit isn’t your thing.

2 // Four: A Divergent Collection

In a Nutshell This book is a collection of four short stories that are like a prequel to where we find Four and the rest of the crew in Divergent. All of the things that the original three books lead you to believe about his character are put in black and white– abusive dad, disappearing/factionless mom, and his new life in Dauntless. Kind of cool to read about Tris as an initiate from his point of view.

You will probably like it if you’re looking for a quick read. I’m talking the literary equivalent of junk food. Also, it’s fun to picture Theo James as the brooding Four for 285 pages 😉

You probably won’t like it if you aren’t into the Divergent series, obviously.

3 // The Handmaid’s Tale

In a Nutshell Set in the near future, [The Handmaid’s Tale] describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. via Amazon.com

Slightly heavier than the first two on my list, wouldn’t you say?

You will probably like it if you’re into dystopian fiction a la 1984 and Brave New World. This book is seriously crazy. The narrator, Offred (literally called “Of Fred” because that’s the commander she “belongs” to) is our only lens into this world and it’s pretty bleak. She tells about the “now” and the “before” of her situation in pieces, jumping between both throughout the book. Which brings me to my next point–

You probably won’t like it if AP English wasn’t your thing. This isn’t exactly a light beach (snow day?) read.

4 // Yes Please

In a Nutshell  Amy writes about everything in this book from her childhood to her career to motherhood and beyond. The balance of wit and wisdom she managed throughout the book was so good, you guys. I will definitely be reading it again!

You will probably like it if you are into the memoir genre and reading about the experiences of strong women. I’m not sure what I expected when I picked up this book, but I was pleasantly surprised with just how great of a writer she is– incredibly honest, funny without trying too hard, relatable. Her life is exponentially more fabulous than mine will ever be, but at the heart of everything she’s just another woman trying to juggle work and kids and a love life and being a grown-up, feeling all the feels and doing the best she can.

Also, there are chapters called “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “The Robots Will Kill Us All,” and “Humping Justin Timberlake.”

You probably won’t like it if you don’t have a pulse. Kidding– harsh– probably many reasons because it has a fairly direct audience. Identifying as a woman/mother/writer largely influences my bias here, so chances are you may not all be as over the moon about it as I am.

But if you are at least one of those things? Read it. NOW. (and thank me later)

5 // Serena

In a Nutshell The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains–but she soon shows herself to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband’s life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons’ intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning. —Amazon.com

JLaw and Bradley Cooper are going to be absolute perfection as the Pembertons because she’s fierce, and who doesn’t want to see Bradley Cooper as a rugged lord-of-the-lumberjacks?

You will probably like it if you’re into Gone Girl-esque leading ladies and the drama that ensues. Serena is full of the crazy, but it builds. Character development and the story overall wasn’t entirely predictable, leaving just enough suspense to make me lie to myself that I would read “one more page” until I finished the book in the same day I started.

You probably won’t like it if historical fiction isn’t your thing. Specifically, depression-era/timber industry/appalachia. Not going to lie, I did a fair amount of skimming when I felt like I was knee-deep in these kinds of details so I could get to the next juicy part.

—–

There you have it! One thing crossed off the 25 Before 25 list. Already looking forward to the next snow day so I can dig into the next five waiting on my Kindle: If I Stay, Still Alice, Wild, Big Little Lies, and Station Eleven. Happy reading!

Five Little Things

How is it Sunday already?! Soaking up what’s left of the weekend with my boys, and sharing a few fun things for what’s left of yours 🙂

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1 // Books To Read With winter break fast approaching, I’m really looking forward to a little extra time to do some binge-reading. This should surprise no one. Amy Poehler is amazing, Lena Dunham is fascinating (because, GIRLS), and The Interestings has been showing up all over the bloggers I Insta-stalk so I’m assuming it’s worth an afternoon.

2 // A Movie to Love This movie is probably old news to a lot of people because, well, it came out before I was born. HOWEVER, I randomly caught it on Cinemax the other day and have watched it in pieces between episodes of Bubble Guppies and entertaining a toddler (who lets you know that “Santa’s watching!” as he makes consistent choices to land himself on the Naughty List), and it’s great! Classic Chevy Chase. Without giving too much away, he moves to a quirky small town in the country with his wife so he can write a novel but basically nothing goes as planned (of course). And in case you were wondering, the 80s hair was as atrocious as ever 🙂

3 // Holiday Cards and a Link to Share The fact that we were able to get it together enough to send out actual family photo holiday cards this year is pretty amazing. Usually, I completely forget until abouuuuut this time of the month when it’s too late to order them and all the good ones at Target are picked over. I was so excited to have the chance to use our family pictures from May, even if it didn’t make for the most “Christmas-y” card. Who makes the rules, anyway?

I stumbled upon this link today on Facebook, and let me just say amen, sister. Don’t be fooled by the smiling toddler on the card, because for the other 364 days, 23 hours, and 59 minutes of the year we are all aboard the Hot Mess Express (but no one wants to hang that on their refrigerators).

4 // A Bright Spot I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, but for the last week I’ve tried hard to carve out at least five extra minutes before rushing out the door for this. SheReadsTruth is great not just because it’s a small way to dig deeper, but because it’s written by women who make it applicable. Bonus? It’s short and sweet and fits perfectly between packing lunches and making sure we’re all wearing shoes.

5 // A Week of Excitement This week is so full, and I can hardly wait! Monday and Tuesday are full of the usual, but the end of the week is full of things I’ve been looking forward to for months. Mom and I are taking a mini-roadtrip to Philly on Wednesday so we can be Justin Timberlake groupies (you’re jealous). Thursday is full of big things at work AND it’s Mike’s birthday! And Friday? Stay tuned 🙂

High Five for Friday!

[ONE] It’s Spring Break! We’ve been swinging and sliding and painting and reading and playing and sleeping in and not checking email. FREEDOM!

[TWO] One of my very best friends is getting married in June, so I had a great excuse to do a little shopping at two of my favorite stores. This dress from J.Crew is INCREDIBLY flattering (i.e. creates the illusion that I have curves) and the navy is perfect for the springtime transition from pale to sort-of-tan. It’s already sold out online, but still available in stores! Necklace and wedges from Target 🙂

Summer Wedding

via Polyvore

Dress // Necklace // Shoes

[THREE] I should follow that post with the disclaimer that I am not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination. I mean really, thank God for Pinterest. I have a closet full of clothes that I lack the vision to put into actual outfits. SO I think I’m going to try a new project– the 30 in 30 Challenge! From what I’ve read, you’re supposed to gather thirty items from your closet– tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories. For thirty days, the challenge is to reassemble those thirty items into thirty different outfits. Not only does this help to “remix” your closet, but it helps you appreciate all the hidden gems that might not otherwise see the light of day (and gives the credit cards a break because NO SHOPPING!). Look for 30 in 30 updates to come, and read more about it here.

[FOUR] Lots of reading this week! I’m enjoying it while it lasts– report card season is in full swing around here and I REALLY need to get my life together.

giver group

I finished The Giver in 2.5 seconds, and will probably hate on its ending until the end of time. GIVE ME CLOSURE.

I just started The Groupa book originally published in 1963 and termed “the original Sex and the City.” Quick summary– it’s 1933 and eight friends just graduated from Vassar. It’s very coming-of-age. It’s also very scandalous. These women could be your great-grandmothers. Great-grandmothers can’t be scandalous! Right?

[FIVE] A little bit of my favorite Midge for your weekend 🙂

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Happy Friday!

Link up with this blogger to check out more High Five for Friday posts!–

High Five for Friday

[ONE] Reason number 4,587,312 I wish I could be real-life friends with these guys.

[TWO] I binge-read this entire series in five days.

divergent-trilogy

Needless to say, it was a good read! The dialogue was predictable at times, but the complexities of the story lines really sold me on it. The teacher and former English major in me were practically fleshing out plans for literature circle discussions as I read, wishing for a high school lit class to do it with for about five seconds before recalling all the “Who am I?” drama that will dissuade me from EVER teaching beyond fifth grade. At any rate, GO READ THIS before the movie comes out! I promise it won’t disappoint.

[THREE] I splurged on a Kindle Paperwhite last weekend and I’m pretty obsessed. I can read on my iPad, but the Paperwhite does such an amazing job of catering to a reader that it’s worth the $100. The matte finish and brightness of the screen are perfect for reading without getting that tired feeling that often comes from staring at a computer screen too long. It also has some cool features that allow you to annotate things as you read and see what other readers have marked along the way, and something called X-Ray that details each character in the book.

The nerdiness of this post should not come as a surprise. I was nominated for class president junior year because I “like to read books.” I should mention that the person who made that nomination now delivers pizzas.

Naturally, I needed to accessorize this purchase and I’m in love:

Kindle Paperwhite sleeve, Bertie's Closet (Etsy)
Kindle Paperwhite sleeve, Bertie’s Closet (Etsy)

[FOUR] The plague is making its rounds. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.

[FIVE] This blogger mentioned switching her toddler from a sippy to a mini-sized Camelbak, and it was a total win in our house. Landon likes that the straw is flexible, and Momma likes that it doesn’t spill 🙂 It also makes him look like he is ready to leave me for preschool. Where does the time go?!

Happy Friday 🙂

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