How to Fit Audiobooks Into Your Day

Posted 28 June, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 26 Comments

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Did you know that June is Audiobook Month? I can’t believe I let the entire month go by before mentioning this, but since there are still three days (including this one) left, here we go!

When I first started listening to audiobooks, my listening was limited to my 45-60 minute commute to and from work. If I was listening to a particularly good book when I got home, it wasn’t unusual for me to sit in my driveway for just a few more minutes.

This all changed when I was listening to Before I Go To Sleep. I HAD to know what was going on–I needed all of the answers. I couldn’t stop listening. So I listened while I cooked, I listened while I exercised, I even looked for excuses to clean to keep listening. This is when I realized that audiobooks aren’t just for driving–they’re for cramming in a book any chance you can get.

The good news about audiobooks is that you can often do something else while listening–not like reading a physical book–which means that I can consume more books than I normally would, especially when life is particularly busy. When do I fit in audiobooks? Anytime I can! Linking up to Top Ten Tuesday for today’s freebie week.

Ten Ways to Fit Audiobooks Into Your Day

In the Car

Driving is the most obvious. Now that I have a short commute to work a few days a week, my audiobook consumption has gone up considerably. Anytime I’m alone in the car (or with the babe), I have my audiobook running. If the big girls are with me, we’re more likely to be listening to Roar (Katy Perry). Let’s not forget about roadtrips! Part of me wants to cry when I think about all the driving between cities when I was in college.

While Cooking

Listening to my book while making dinner is a special treat for me. This means that I’m able to chop veggies without worrying that someone is going to put their hands on the hot stove (ie, everyone is playing upstairs under Scott’s watchful eye). This week I’ve been listening to Gulp, and it certainly makes dinnertime prep interesting…to say the least.

Grocery Shopping

Yes really! Grocery shopping can be such a mundane errand, but if I’m doing it without three kids in tow then it feels like a vacation. Even better if I have Starbucks in one hand and my audiobook in the other. To be conscientious of and courteous to other shoppers, I do listen with only one earbud in.


If an audiobook is a really great one, I don’t mind scrubbing all the toilets to keep on listening. My house was sparkling during the time I was listening to IT. Of course this was also when I only had one babe. These days if I’m listening to my audiobook while cleaning, it’s when Cara is napping. I’ll turn up the monitor to her room really loudly and listen with one earbud in. Still more enjoyable than cleaning in silence!


Ok, so this might be one of those “in a perfect world” type scenarios, but I think it would be lovely to play around in the garden while listening to an audiobook. But, if I’m outside then everyone else is outside which means that there is no listening to be done. If I’m alone then I’m not likely to spend my time gardening. But you should totally do this!


Lately I’ve been listening to audiobooks a lot when out on walks with Cara, but I’ve also listened to audiobooks while lifting weights, pedaling on the bike or elliptical, and occasionally while running.


Insert any hobby here. While I can’t listen to audiobooks while working on brain intensive projects (quilting math is hard, y’all), but I love listening to audio when I’m doing very repetitive projects–such as working on handsewing, scrapbooking, or basic machine piecing.

Paying Bills

Insert any menial work task here. Though I have tried hard to do real work and listen to my book at the same time, I’ve found that I can only do so when filing or tidying or doing work that doesn’t require any thought at all.

Playing on the Phone

I may or may not know someone who may or may not be addicted to Two Dots. This same person who refused to download any games on her phone for years because she knew she would get addicted. Playing Two Dots isn’t so bad if you’re also consuming high literature, right? Snort.

In Bed

Admittedly, I have never listened to my audiobook before bed. But Scott does this on occasion and swears by it. The Audible app has a sleep timer that you can set so that your book doesn’t continue to run after you’ve fallen asleep.

Do you listen while doing any of these things? What did I miss? How do you fit audiobooks into your day?



A Trip to Trader Joe’s

Posted 25 June, 2016 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 34 Comments



Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s has a bit of a cult-like following, it seems. People, especially on the west coast, are quite fanatical about the chain. If you’re not familiar (and I’m not an expert), it’s a small grocery store that specializes in it’s own food brand which keeps costs low.

We didn’t get our first Trader Joe’s until a year or so ago, and before then all I really knew of them was the low prices and their famous Two Buck Chuck (wine). It’s possible I may have stepped foot inside a store during a visit to California years ago, but sometimes I wonder if I just imagined it. I do know that I sampled Two Buck Chuck during a California visit.

Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck

Oh and Peppermint Jojos. A friend brought some into the office after a trip out west and my life was changed.

Going to Trader Joe’s isn’t overly convenient for me–ever since moving from the small town where I had to drive 45 minutes to get to a real grocery store, I’m reluctant to drive more than 5 minutes to buy groceries these days. Especially at a store that feels so incredibly foreign. But…it’s not that far out of the way and since I was in the area I decided to drop by.

Trader Joe's Flowers

I headed into Trader Joe’s for the peonies I keep seeing on Instagram. Since it was midday during the week and I just had Cara, I was able to browse up and down all of the aisles of the relatively small store. I felt a bit like a creeper–analyzing all of the products but not pulling a whole lot off the shelves.

I find Trader Joe’s to be a little overwhelming and quite a bit intimidating. Everything feels so different. And so much variety! So many choices! So much novelty! In trips past I’ve felt a bit paralyzed and walked out with very little. I see people with full carts and wonder how the heck they know what they want?! When I grocery shop I tend to get mostly staples, but hardly anything at Trader Joe’s feels like a true staple item.

Trader Joe's Selection

It was a lot of fun walking around and looking at all of the different items. OMG all that cheese! (Yes, I’m still limiting my dairy for nursing). In the end I came home with very little. Two bouquets of flowers (they really are so cheap!), riced cauliflower (which I’ve heard is a great alternative to fried rice), a salad for lunch, a bottle of wine, and coconut oil (which came highly recommended…though I’m not sure how I’ll use it yet). I’m trying to stay away from sweets and snacks otherwise I could have done some major damage.

Trader Joe's Goodies

I’m not sure that I feel any more comfortable with Trader Joe’s after my visit, but at least I was able to slowly browse and get a better idea of what I can get there. Still overwhelmed? Yes! A little less reluctant to visit? Absolutely.

Now…if it were only 5 minutes closer to home.

The whole point of this post is to ask YOU what you love to buy from Trader Joe’s. For those who frequent TJ’s, do you do most of your shopping there or only stop by for specialty items? What crazy and unique items do I need to pick up on my next visit?






Linking up with:

weekend cookingEvery weekend, Beth Fish Reads hosts Weekend Cooking.  “Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.”  Hope you’ll join the fun!



In the Parenting Trenches

Posted 22 June, 2016 by Trish in Mommyhood / 21 Comments

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In the Parenting Trenches


When milk spills all over a freshly mopped floor, do you cry before or after snapping a picture?

Parenting has felt a little like that lately–a mixture of “do I laugh or do I cry?” Sometimes it’s easier to laugh at a bowl of spilled milk than others–but last night was not one of those nights. No, there wasn’t any spilled milk but there were tears. Mostly mine.

We were off to a great evening (my second of five nights solo parenting this week) until it was time to make dinner and Cara wanted to be held and Evie wanted to help me cook. Amongst the crying and the whining, I managed to get dinner on the table and everyone sitting down. Perfect.

Until Cara wanted to nurse. In the middle of dinner. As she does. Evie took this as her cue to start acting out in all manners of mischief knowing that while I’m stuck under a nursing baby, there’s not a damn thing I can really do. Two is often my favorite age–but I had also forgotten how terrible it can be. With three being even worse.

I could feel myself starting to unravel–the impatience was rapidly boiling up inside of me. And so help me, if Elle asked me one more time if she could have a piece of candy since she was done with her dinner…

After Evie hit the unlock button on my car key fob for the zillionth time (my car horn beeping incessantly), while sitting in Cara’s carseat carrier, I finally lost my cool. I screamed. Loudly. It was not pretty. The guilt came rushing in and I immediately took some deep breaths and headed into the bedroom to fold laundry and give myself a bit of space. A few minutes later I was able to return, more coolheaded.

And we survived dinner. With plenty of time until bedtime. Why does time move so much more slowly when you’re the only adult at home?

We all headed upstairs to hang out and happily played an iSpy game. Cara took a bit of a nap on my chest while the girls tidied their bedrooms. All was calm. Teeth were brushed without any incident. I allowed the girls to watch a little bit of TV until it was time for me to put Cara down. I explained that if they stayed in their room while I put Cara to sleep, I would read them a story and sing a song.

I should have kept good to my word and read them the story right after Cara was down. But I had the kitchen to clean, bottles to wash, lunches to prep, trash to take out. I knew the girls weren’t going to bed anytime soon, so I offered to let them play until I was finished. If they could play without incident, not only would they get to stay up way past their bedtime, but then I would also read them a story.

As I washed bottles, I was feeling rather smug. I would be able to combat the sneaking children getting out of bed and be able to finish my work more quickly. If they’re not going to go to bed until 9 anyway, why not just make it easier on myself and let them stay up a bit later?

I checked on them a few times and reminded them to keep it down. As I was about to finish, I went upstairs to give them the warning that I was almost done and to start tidying their mess. Princess dresses were strewn across every inch of bedroom floor. “Otay mommy!”

I’ll skip the rest of the details, but let’s just say that my brilliant plan did not work out as brilliantly as I had imagined. I searched my brain for appropriate emotions I was feeling that I could share with the girls. I went with frustrated. With them, with myself, with the situation. I’m obviously leaving out the details of my meltdown.

I put them into bed and went downstairs and cried. It’s been a while since I cried so it started to come out in heaving sobs. Yes I was frustrated, but I also felt alone. Scott had already gone to bed, so I couldn’t text him–and my pride didn’t want me to let him know how badly the night had gone.

So I picked up my phone and texted my best friend. I prefaced it by telling her that the only thing she needed to say was “I know.” And then I added “It is so fucking hard.” I knew she would know what I was talking about. I cried some more. And waited for her response. And waited. I needed her to hear me. I needed someone to validate this sinking feeling. Eventually the text came back. “I know.”

I exhaled and continued my nighttime prep. I went upstairs to give the girls kisses–Elle was already asleep so I gave Evie–the little whirlwind tornado–a few extra hugs. I’m not sure who needed them more.

The next morning my head hurt from the tears the night before. Evie came bounding down the stairs and I met her with a hug. In her little minion voice she said, “I love you mommy.” And my heart melted. How are these incredible beings so forgiving? How could I deserve her generosity?

Today I will do my best. I will do better than I did before. I will make mistakes. It will be hard. Oh my gosh some moments are so hard.

But if you’re in those trenches, know that you’re not alone.



Pleasure Delayed Reading

Posted 19 June, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 20 Comments

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Mount TBR

Happy Sunday!! Who’s suffering of heat exhaustion now that we’re a day away from summer? While we haven’t officially broken 100 yet, our heat index has reached above and I’ve been avoiding the outdoors at all costs. Yay summer!

Perfect excuse to stay in with a book, right?

I’ve recently noticed that I have a bad habit when it comes to books. I love to scour bookstore shelves for books that I’m dying to read. I stack up daily deal reads on my kindle like books are going out of style. Sometimes I can’t resist buying the hottest new book.

No big deal, right? Not like dogearing a page or breaking a spine?

But the real crime is that I wait years to read these books. Sometimes when I’m choosing my next book, I’ll skip over titles that I’m sure to love because I want to save them for another day. I’m a pleasure delay reader.

Reading is a hobby I partaken in solely because I find it pleasurable to get lost in a story (ok, so there are lots of other reasons why I read, but this is the most obvious). If reading is a hobby of pleasure why…WHY would I delay reading books I’m sure to love so that I can save them? This strikes me as ridiculous, but it happens time and time again.

I just finished listening to The Happiness Project (a book we’ve had on the shelf since 2009), and in the chapter about money Gretchen Ruben talks about Spending Out. As I listened to her describe what this means, I realized that I am guilty of not spending out. When she talks about spending out, she says to “to stop hoarding, to trust in abundance.”

I started thinking about why I hoard good books and came up with a number of reasons–each more ridiculous than the last.

Why I Haven’t Read That Book Yet

  • I’ll run out of new material from my favorite authors (somehow this is why I haven’t read Margaret Atwood in years–because I’m afraid I’ll run out of books by her. Snort).
  • If I read a book right after purchasing it, perhaps I won’t get as much bang for my buck than if it sits on my shelf for years.
  • After I read the book and love it to pieces, I won’t be able to experience that feeling with that book again–at least not for the first time.
  • What if the book doesn’t live up to the hype? Should I let the hype die down first? Or what if I try to read it at the wrong time and it doesn’t suit my mood?
  • Sometimes I hear spoilery things about a book that I try to forget in time so that I can read the book with a clean slate–nevermind that I can’t remember the ending to the book I read a month ago. :-/
  • I might run out of awesome material on my shelves and be stuck with the remaining drivel. OMG what if all the good books disappear? What will I be left with?

I’m rolling my eyes while I type these–are you, too? NONE of these scenarios makes sense!

With all of this in mind, when it came to pick a new book to read, I finally downloaded Station Eleven onto my device and settled in.

And you know what? I loved it. Why did I wait so long?

Do you pleasure delay your reading? Please tell me I’m not the only insane one!




Books Recently Finished: The Happiness Project (on audio)–I really loved it, even if it did bring to my attention just how irritable I’ve been lately. Sigh. I also devoured Station Eleven over the Memorial Day weekend and quick re-read through Me Before You for a book club meeting.

New Books in the House: None! I was SO tempted when we went to Barnes and Noble the other day–my first time in a real bookstore in months–but I only walked away with a guidebook to the Smoky Mountains.

New Books on my E-Reader: Not as good in this realm. I picked up The Wee Free Men by Pratchett and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah as recent daily deals. I also put The Fireman by Joe Hill on hold at the library…because the ebook is only $2 cheaper than the hardcover?!?!

Books on the Nightstand: I’m ever so slowly making my way through Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver on my kindle. I’m enjoying it, but 600 pages is long for someone who can normally only read 5 before falling asleep at night! I’m currently listening to Gulp by Mary Roach. I love her zany nonfiction!

*Amazon links are affiliate. If you purchase anything through those links, I will receive a small commission which will help support this blog–at no extra cost to you. Thank you!


What’s going on in your Sunday today?



Perfect Cherry Cheesecake

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Posted 18 June, 2016 by Trish in In the Kitchen / 19 Comments

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Posted 7 June, 2016 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts / 39 Comments

Books I’ve Recently Read | Magic Edition

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Posted 26 May, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 19 Comments

On to the Next Book!

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Posted 22 May, 2016 by Trish in Reading Nook / 24 Comments

5.19.2016 – Tenth Anniversary

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Posted 19 May, 2016 by Trish in Life / 26 Comments