It’s in a Book

My friend wrote a book. This book to be precise.  

I am ridiculously proud of my friend. When her book arrived I cried literal tears of joy. I know how hard she worked on this book. I know that blood, sweat, and tears went into this book. 

But I can’t read it.  

I can’t read any book.  

I used to read all the time. I would crack through a few books per week. I’d have multiple books on the go and switch between stories to read what suited me. I would choose reading over watching tv any day of the week.  

I don’t know what changed. Maybe it’s having kids, maybe it’s my iPhone, maybe it’s cancer and the changes my brain’s gone through on different meds and no thyroid, maybe it’s the lack of sleep, maybe it’s Instagram and the ability to scroll endlessly, maybe it’s the moon. I have no idea. All I know is that I no longer have the attention span to read.  

But I really want to read! I want to read my friend’s book and the other books languishing on my bookshelf. I enjoy listening to audiobooks but there’s something I’m missing by not curling up in a cozy blanket and flipping through the pages of a good book.  

Have you experienced this loss before? How did you retrain your brain to be able to read for longer than 15 seconds at a time? Or am I lost cause?


{Giveaway} Learn Your Messy ABCs with Oscar the Grouch & his Sesame Street Friends!

Grady and I recently had the chance to review Put Me in the Story's Sesame Street: The Messy Alphabet Book. I'm a huge fan of Put Me in the Story (remember when I ordered Poppy a personalized Easter story instead of doing a chocolatey Easter basket?) 

Personalized story books are a great way to boost the enthusiasm of early readers. Grady is working hard on learning his letters and sight words; his whole face lit up when he opened the package and saw his name front and centre on his very own story.


I loved adding my own personal message to Grady, and including one of my favourite pictures of the two of us. The ordering process could not be easier. You're guided through each step, quickly and painlessly, and have an opportunity to review the final product before placing your order. Grady's personalized book was delivered in less than a week.


Enter through the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win your own Sesame Street Personalized Book Bundle & Elmo Plush!

{Disclosure: I received product in exchange for this review; all opinions stated are my own.}

Summer Reading Bingo

Shawn came home and found me in my element: hunched over poster board, using my big ruler, Sharpies in varying colours and widths strewn about. He asked what I was doing and after I told him, he laughed and accused me of taking my "clipboard of fun" to the next level. Advanced Clipboard of Fun, if you will.

I don't even care.


I made an awesome Summer Reading Bingo Card for Grady and he loves it. When he woke up the next morning and found it hanging on the wall he was so excited to get started. We've already made one big run to the library for books and he's managed to knock off nine squares (there's 100 in total) in less than a week. 

Summer Reading Bingo is something I thought up to keep Grady interested in reading during summer break. Grady's school is closed for two full months and that's a long break. I don't want him to lose the momentum he gained, or his enthusiasm for reading. I also want a visual reminder for myself so I can measure how much I'm reading with Grady. With life getting so busy this summer, I don't want Grady's reading to suffer. The visual reminder of how many books we've read together, and how many we have left to go before school starts, will (hopefully) help me stay on top of summer reading better than if I'm relying on my memory. 

Want to play with us? All I did was make a 10x10 grid on poster board and fill it with topics featured in kids' books. Some are easy (Pete the Cat, Iron Man, trucks, etc.) and some will require a trip to the library (ballet dancers). When we read a book featuring one of the 100 topics on the bingo card, Grady gets to colour in the square. He only gets to colour in one square per book (so Pete at the Beach can either knock off the Pete the Cat square, or the beach square, or the cat square, but not all three squares). 

When Grady gets a bingo (ten books in a row), he gets to choose a treat from the list below the grid. The treats are an assortment of things we already had planned for the summer (don't tell him that) like going out for ice cream cones, sleeping in the tent, staying up late, and things like that. 

At almost six years old, the bingo card method ties in perfectly with Grady's need for control (he decides what we're reading and what treat he's earning) and the visual aid is perfect for his personality (he likes to see his progress) and where he's at developmentally. 

How do you keep your kids interested in reading over the summer? 


Put Me in the Story: Personalized Books for Easter

Easter holds different meaning for different people but in our house, it's an opportunity to welcome spring, celebrate family, and enjoy some chocolate. Poor Poppy is too young to participate in the Easter egg hunt / chocolate fest that we've put on for Grady in recent years, but that doesn't mean she'll be left out.

Put Me In The Story to the rescue!

Put Me In The Story takes bestselling books and beloved characters and creates personalized books complete with the child’s name, photo, and a message from the gift giver! Reading becomes more fun and engaging for kids when the book stars them!

Put Me In The Story has lots of options to choose from, appropriate for different religious aspects of Easter (including non-religious options) and age levels. The ordering process was quick and painless. I was easily guided through entering specific information (child's name, personal message, photo, etc.) and in no time flat, I had a perfectly personalized I Love You Honey Bunny on its way to me to put in Poppy's Easter basket.

I was slightly skeptical at how the personalized content would be integrated with the rest of the story but my concerns were unfounded. It all fits together beautifully and doesn't look like someone swapped in different pages for different people; the book truly looks like it was custom-made for our honey bunny.

You can win a personalized Easter book and plush gift for your own honey bunny! Enter here:

{Disclosure: I received product in exchange for this review; all opinions stated are my own.}