School Book Fair Finds

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Our home library is brimming with books, but I can't refuse when the kids ask for books from the school book fair. Of course, I put in my two cents about what book they should get. Ultimately, it's their decision.


Javen chose a picture book. He's been reading chapter books but didn't find his preferred series. The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Adam Rex, makes him laugh every time he reads it. Good find! 


Pierce received a shark book for Christmas. It didn't stop him from picking out another shark book. He is obsessed with ocean animals right now, and I love his desire to gulp up knowledge. This book came with three toy sharks. It may have swayed his decision.


Alayna chose a PJ Masks book. Honestly, I was a little surprised. There were so many options for her age range, but she went with PJ Masks Make Friends! She has seen the cartoon, and being familiar with the story put this book in the buy pile.

Where do you buy kid's books? My favorites are Half Price Books, Amazon, School Book Fairs, and garage sales.

Happy Reading.

Amanda

What I'm Reading Right Now: War Storm


The Red Queen series has been an intense ride. The first book of the series by Victoria Aveyard has been the best out of the four books thus far. Right now I'm eating up the last installment, War Storm. The journey from one book to the next is less and less intense, but still captivating. Even though I'm only in the first few chapters of War Storm, the book seems to hedge on the right to love whomever you want instead of fighting for freedom which the series started out projecting with enthusiasm.


I'm all for love stories thrown into the mix of an epic war-torn story. However, for this last book to focus more on the infatuations of young love rather than the civil war seems a bit odd. I'm hoping that the author will bring it around full circle. Will slavery be abolished and civil rights granted to all? We will see.

Happy reading,

Amanda

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A Summer Running Challenge



There are some people who run, and those who don’t. Personally, I’m a yogi and HIIT kind of girl.

This past semester our boys took to running. They love it. Their school participated in Kids on the Go! The goal is to get kids to run the length of a marathon by the end of the semester. The kids run the last mile in front of their friends and family at a local high school.

Javen ran 100 miles, and Pierce ran 45 miles! Wow! Not bad for a third grader and a kindergartner. Javen won the Golden Shoe Award for his outstanding effort and running more miles than anyone else in the school. Both boys received medals for their amazing effort.

My husband never backs down from a challenge and wants to keep the running spirit alive over the summer. As a result, Javen and Kevin will see who can reach 100 miles over the span of June and July. The winner gets a Fitbit or activity tracker of their choice.

I’m so proud of their accomplishments.

I’ll be on the mat if anyone needs me.
Amanda

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How Do You Take Your Coffee?


Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

First of all, you have to put something good in it. That’s what one friend told my husband when he offered her a cup of coffee. I have to agree.

About a year and a half ago, I started cutting out milk and other dairy products. (I still have trouble letting go of cheese.) At that time, I also started drinking coffee. The problem was that it didn’t taste good black. Hello? Who wants to drink bitter water? Sorry, honey. I know that’s how you drink your coffee.

Since milk was out, I opted for a newfound beverage. Did you know they make chocolate almond milk? Also, affectionately referred to at our house as chocolate nut juice. The best cafe mocha takes two ingredients. Equal parts coffee and chocolate almond milk. Heat it up for about 30 seconds, and you have a delicious hot beverage that will save you a boatload of money and calories.

So, how do you take your coffee? Do you put anything good in it?

Amanda

We Made the Move: 5 Things I Love About Naples

We now call Naples our home. Moving from Texas for my husband's job has been an adjustment. Naples has everything you could want with a small town feel. Here are five things I have grown to love since moving here.



The Beach

It has to be the first thing on the list. The water draws your eyes in with the different shades of blue and the gentle waves. Every time we go to the beach, we don't want to leave. It's a permanent vacation interrupted by work and school.

The Weather

Growing up in Texas, I'm used to the sweltering heat. Florida adds a little humidity, but we're alright with that. It helps with static in our hair. Winter is a dream. The days reached 60 degrees and the lows dipped down to 30 in January. Pleasant is an understatement.


Lush

In the mornings, the haze rises up from the ponds all around our house. It fills the field between us and the thick orange orchard. Beyond that is a dense forest of palms and pines. We live in a rainforest. Adventure calls to me through the fog, but I quickly remember that I have to make breakfast and send children off to school. By that time, the fog has lifted. One morning I will answer it's call.

The streets are lined with palms, magnolias, and pines. Trash knows better than to land on the streets. Communities beg you to look at the massive gates and ornate entrances. Mangroves line the beaches allowing you to hear the beach before seeing the beauty just on the other side. A tame, lush rainforest describes Naples best.

No Traffic

It may not be a romantic notion, but there is something wonderful about not dealing with traffic. Coming from a metro area such as DFW, I am blissfully aware of the ease of driving around Naples. Getting from one place to another is easy. Road construction and traffic jams are almost non-existent.

We heard horror stores about in-season. Since Naples is a tourist town, the winter months welcome an influx of northern visitors. I almost laughed, when winter rolled around. We were told to make reservations two months in advance for restaurants. Nope! We were told that the time needed to get around town would double. Nope! The locals have not lived in a metro area. I will take in-season over a metro traffic jam any day.


The Young Crowd

I have reached the age where I'm no longer bearing children and came to the realization that I'm not going to stay young forever. What age do you start using retinol? Why do I have to worry about wrinkles and acne at the same time? The routine of life shows on mommy's face, and then it dawns on me that I was the median age in our Texas town.

Not in Naples. The median age is 65! That's right. I just joined the young whipper-snapper club once again.

Finding friends and building a village is a little harder when most people are here only six months out of the year and have grown children. However, it has given me a different perspective on life. If you want a village you have to find it. It will not come looking for you.


Texas will always be our home, but Naples is proving to be a lovely place to live. Have you visited Naples? If so, what are your favorite spots?

Amanda