Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Reading List {2014}

Despite the fact that good Fall TV is back, I have a nice line-up of books for my Fall Reading List to share with you. I have to tell you, the combination of having a baby who goes to bed at 7 pm, sleeps through the night with nary a peep, and the complete and total lack of any interesting summer television (with the obvious exception of ABC's "Bachelor in Paradise") made for some major summer reading.
Fall Reading List {2014} from Serenity Now...some great reads!

While I ended up swapping out some of the books on my Summer Reading List, I read a bunch. I was reminded why I worked for that degree in English, Speech, and Linguistics (my university wouldn't let me major in TV watching; I tried). Reading is fun again, now that I have a little time to do it in the evenings. Please do leave me titles on YOUR list in the comments section!

Here's what's on my list for this fall....

Yes, Please - Amy Poehler
Crossing my fingers that this one is as funny as Tina Fey's Bossy Pants. I'm not usually a fan of memoir, but I love it when they are humorous.

The Shoemaker's Wife- Adriana Irigiani
This is the pick for this month's book club. I like historical fiction, so I'm looking forward to this one. And, seriously, how fab is that red dress?


After Her- Joyce Maynard
Just started this one. I think it's supposed to be murdery, suspensey. I:m not feeling it so far, but I'll keep reading.

Bitter is the New Black - Jen Lancaster
Another memoir, but again with the funny. I've been told this is hilarious, so I better read it fast before it's due back at the library.

Dark Aemelia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady - Sally O'Reilly
This one intrigued me. Aemelia Bassano lived in Elizabethan England and was the first woman in England to publish a volume of poetry.

One Lavender Ribbon - Heather Burch
Restoring an old house, old letters, flashbacks...what more could I want?

I have a few others in my library basket that I'm hoping to get to, but this list should keep me busy for awhile.

Have you read any of these? What's on your list? Do share in the comments section!

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Inspiring Project Ideas {link party features}

I've got some creative inspiration for you, and today I'll be sharing some Features from the weekend link party. If you're new to the blog, I take a couple of days each week to let other bloggers showcase their project ideas here, and I take a day to feature a few of my faves. We have crafts, home decor, DIY, recipes, party ideas, organizing, tips and tricks, seasonal projects, and more!

Here are some projects that caught my eye this week:

~Fall Home Tour via The Happy Housie

~Zucchini and Asiago Cheese Panini with Cannellini Spread via Living the Gourmet

~Bias Tape Pumpkin Pillow via The Silly Pearl

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Bloggy Reading :: Link Up!

Happy Friday! Welcome to my Weekend Bloggy Reading link party. Fridays are fun because this is the day of the week where other bloggers stop by to link up their best post of the week here at Serenity Now, and readers get to browse tons of fun project ideas. If you're new here, don't forget to "Follow" or subscribe so you don't miss future parties and projects!

*Please be sure to read my guidelines before you add a link--I've had to bypass so many great projects lately because they didn't include a link back to my blog in the post!

This party is a great place to showcase your very best post of the week (home decor, crafts, party ideas, recipes, DIY, tips and tricks, etc.) and to see what else is out there.

Did you miss any of this week's posts? On Sunday, I showed off LeapFrog's new LeapBand for kids. Monday was a family update with some cutesy cute baby pics. Tuesday was all about POPSUGAR's Must Have Box...fabulous goodies in a pretty pink box. And Wednesday brought us some inspiring features from last week's link party. I love showing you guys off!

Time to link up your best post of the week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inspiring Project Ideas {link party features}

Wow, is it Wednesday already? How's your week going? I've got some creative inspiration for you, and today I'll be sharing some Features from the weekend link party. If you're new to the blog, I take a couple of days each week to let other bloggers showcase their project ideas here, and I take a day to feature a few of my faves. We have crafts, home decor, DIY, recipes, party ideas, organizing, tips and tricks, seasonal projects, and more!

Here are some projects that caught my eye this week:

~Girl's Purple Bedroom Reveal via The Honeycomb Home

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September POPSUGAR Must Have Box and Discount Code!

This post brought to you by POPSUGAR.// Have you heard about POPSUGAR's "Must Have" boxes? They are monthly subscription boxes that come straight to your door and are filled with all sorts of fab goodies. I had the pleasure of reviewing the September POPSUGAR Must Have Box this month, and I even have a special discount code for you!
A Box of Goodies from @POPSUGARMH! at Serenity Now blog #MustHaveBox

If you have a POPSUGAR Must Have Box subscription, you'll receive a box full of surprises every month, delivered to your front door. Filled with items for beauty, fashion, health, fitness, home, entertainment, and more...it's sure to delight any woman! Items are full-size products and premium items selected by POPSUGAR editors...and worth over $100. It's as easy as selecting your subscription (one, three, six, or twelve months) and waiting for happy mail day.
Fab surprises delivered to your door each month from @POPSUGARMH! at Serenity Now blog #MustHaveBox


I don't know about you, but I love mail and I love (pleasant) surprises. Seeing the pretty pink pop of color on my front stoop when I pulled into the driveway was the highlight of my day. I had to fight the kids off (I guess they like mail and surprises too), and then I was able to see what the editors from POPSUGAR curated for September....

  • Tilo Scarf {So sooo soft, a great layering piece. Nice color too...will work with lots of different outfits. Retails for around $125}
  • Nicole Miller Stereo Ear Buds {We are constantly misplacing ear buds in this house. These will be mine, MINE, I tell you! No one else around here can claim to own a pair of cobalt blue ear buds that come with three different sized ear caps}
  • Urban Remedy Almond Brownie {100 percent organic ingredients. Seemed like a safe indulgence. And I did. It is gone. All of it.}
  • Oribe Superfine Purse Size Hair Spray {This is going in my car, pronto! I don't use a ton of hair spray, so this should go a long way for me. I'll save the cheap hairspray for the girls' recitals. This has good hold. Retails around $21.50}
  • Letter C Design Gold Foil Arrow Pencils {J'adore! These are so cute, and they came with a tiny little pencil sharpener. Great for marking down dates in my agenda}
  • Rifle Paper Co. Garance Dore "Assorted Girls" Set {These are so fun. The pretty fashionista cards would be cute framed in a girls' room, or in an envelope on their way to your bestie.}
  • Nike $20 Gift Card {This was sent to purchase a new perfect fit Nike Pro Bra. I actually do need a new sports bra, but wonder if they have anything that will fit "the girls."}
  • Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Sea Salt and Almond Minis {Oh, the POPSUGAR people clearly know the way to my heart! I will likely devour these while binge-watching Revenge before the new season returns}
                       Fab surprises delivered to your door each month from @POPSUGARMH! at Serenity Now blog #MustHaveBox
Fab surprises delivered to your door each month from @POPSUGARMH! at Serenity Now blog #MustHaveBox


I don't know how well you did in math at school (I was awful), but the cost of the scarf alone exceeds the cost of a one month subscription for a Must Have Box! Don't we all deserve a little pampering? This would be an awesome thing to add to your Christmas wish list this year. Whether you work in or out of the home, whether you're a mom, wife, sister, aunt, grandmother, empty-nester, or whatever....you deserve a little pampering too, and there's something to please everyone!

I've got a little surprise of my own for you...

Use the code SEPT14SELECT and you can save $10 off a 3 month subscription! This offer is good from now until September 30 at 11:59 pm. 
Fab surprises delivered to your door each month from @POPSUGARMH! at Serenity Now blog #MustHaveBox


Run, don't walk, and get your own Must Have Box from the POPSUGAR editors. Pass the code on to your mom, your friend, your significant other...anyone. I hope you have a chance to feel as pampered as I did!

Which item would you have enjoyed most in this month's box?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

Follow on Bloglovin

Disclosure: POPSUGAR provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own and POPSUGAR did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Another Year of Firsts

From time to time, when I am feeling sentimental and have the time to edit photos, I like to share little family updates. We've had some more "firsts" in our house this month....

Natalie had a first day of third grade, and Michaela Byrd started first grade. For my smaller girl, it was a new school, and the first time going to school all day. I sent them both off with happy hearts...they have kind, amazing, caring teachers, and some really sweet kids in their classes!


Yep, they get to walk to and from school (with me). It's pretty awesome.

And while they were busy organizing their supplies in their desks, making new friends, and navigating the cafeteria, someone else was busy turning 9 months old. Every day is something new and a "first" for Harris.

He seems to learn a new skill, revel in it for about five minutes, and then move on to the next goal. He crawled for a day or two before he decided it would be fun to pull up on things. That got boring, so he broke his exersaucer and taught himself how to climb up the stairs. As you can imagine, I pretty much just follow him around all day when he is awake. We need to re-baby-proof a lot of areas after so many years of "freedom." He's now high-fiving and clapping like crazy, though he refuses to wave bye-bye. He thinks it's hilarious when we do that.


This year seems to be about balance so far. Natalie has three dance classes this year (ballet, jazz, and musical theatre) and Michaela Byrd has two (ballet and jazz). We spend three days a week at the dance studio, and they have Good News Club on Mondays after school. So far, they've been good about fitting in homework and reading time. Weekends are definitely low key for us!

Now that you see what's going on in my neck of the woods, perhaps you'll forgive the few and far between creative posts. I still have a bunch of crafts and homey projects completed and photographed. I just can't seem to find the time to sit and edit, write, edit again, and then try to promote posts. They'll be here...I'm just enjoying my life with three little ones instead of two!

How are you finding balance in your life this year?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fitness Fun for Kids with the New LeapBand!

This post brought to you by LeapFrog.// Psst! The link party is still live; head on over to join the fun after you read about this LeapBand sneak peek! All three of my little ones (yes, even Harris!) are healthy, active kiddos. The girls dance at the studio for a an hour or more, several times a week, and Harris maintains his "butterball" figure by crawling, creeping, pulling up, and attempting to climb stairs...all day long. That said, finding ways to make fitness fun at home for the older kids can be a challenge. I'm going to share why I think LeapFrog's new LeapBand is a great solution for keeping the kids active in a fun and exciting way when they're home.

I'm not one to say, "Hey, guys! Let's go on a family run today." Um, no. Not me at all. 

But I do love impromptu dance parties and fun games that can make us all giggle. This is why the LeapBand was such a good fit for us. 

What is a LeapBand?


LeapFrog's new LeapBand is a wearable activity tracker, designed to make fitness fun for kids! Through active play and following through on healthy habits, the LeapBand allows your child to interact with his/her own virtual pet. Michaela Byrd chose a unicorn which she promptly named "Lucky Sparkles." 

Michaela Byrd earned points through active play, which in turn unlocked additional games, bumped her up levels, and got virtual rewards for her pet. 

In short, it was a huge hit from the second she fastened the wristband on.


Except for the set-up process on the computer, Byrdie figured out how to turn the band on and set up pets and settings in about 4 seconds. So...very user friendly.

Without any extra equipment, LeapFrog tapped into my daughter's movements, encouraging her to walk like a crab, dance to music, "pop like popcorn," spin, and more. So, she was getting a fun workout without even realizing it.

As a mom who limits screen time, the fact that I can set automatic "down times" during school and/or sleep hours is priceless! You don't have to be the bad guy when it's time for family time, dinner, homework, etc. 

After watching my little one give the LeapBand a test drive, I'd say this is a toy that would make a great addition to the Christmas "must-have" list for a first grader or younger. The under $40 price tag and rechargeable battery make for more attractive features for parents. Download the free companion app (Petathlon) for more fun!

Thanks, LeapFrog, for focusing on healthy habits in addition to your normal line-up of fun and educational games and apps. This is a great addition to your product line!

How do you encourage healthy habits as a family?

If you enjoyed this post or found it helpful, I hope you'll click your "Pin It" button to add this post to Pinterest, or a +1 for Google+. And I always appreciate kind comments.

Follow on Bloglovin

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by LeapFrog, but all opinions are 100% my own. I was not financially compensated for this post, but will receive a LeapBand in exchange for my interview post.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...