Housewarming Gifts 101: Coffee Table Books

Last month while still in NYC, my West Coast biffle stopped in for a sleepover on her way through NYC. As always, she gifted us the most unique, thoughtful, and special housewarming gift: a collection of coffee table books. (Her last gift, which I also posted on, is here.) Each book is beautiful, interesting, and special, but what makes them even more special, is that they are so me! Take a look at the selection — I love the idea of presenting friends with a collection of books that they can flip through and read for years to come.

 

The large heavy stack!

The large heavy stack!

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Elm Street Books

This past Fall, I discovered a small independent bookstore in New Canaan that I fell in love with — Elm Street Books. Not only does it have a great selection of books, but the employees are incredibly knowledgeable and give great recommendations. Last weekend, I went in with three needs: books my emerging reader son can read on his own, books that I can read to BOTH my kids, and books for myself. Two different employees helped me out and all of their selections have been spot on perfect. Here is what they recommended! Thank you, Elm Street Books! We will be back!

 

Elm Street: Walked out with a new bag filled with books -- nothing better.

Elm Street: Walked out with a new bag filled with books — nothing better.

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Truly Madly Guilty- Interview with Liane Moriarty’s Literary Agent

Don’t you love how small the world is? I was raving about Truly Madly Guilty this summer, and the next week Ken discovered that his friend’s wife, Faye Bender, is the literary agent for Liane Moriarty (not to mention a number of other authors).  I had the privilege of interviewing Faye and finding out more about literary agents and the writing world. Take a look!

 

Meet Faye, Literary Agent Extraordinaire.

Meet Faye Bender, Literary Agent Extraordinaire.

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Currently Loving October 2016

Can’t believe it’s the beginning of October! Here is what I am currently loving.

 

1.  Starboy by The Weekend and Daft Punk

 

I can't help my tween music taste, but really, The Weekend and Daft Punk together is the best duo ever. Kinda like if Coldplay were to jam out with Justin Bieber, I might die out of happiness. This song is everything. And helps me move.

I can’t help my tween music taste, but really, The Weekend and Daft Punk together is the best duo ever. Kinda like if Coldplay were to jam out with Justin Bieber. This song is everything. And helps me move.

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Kids Books on Race

So far this summer, I have failed at most of my motherly duties of teaching my kids how to: (1) tie their shoes (big fail), (2) do their school summer math workbook (I am a nagging Jewish mother, my GOD, I want to punch MYSELF), (3) become a self-sufficient swimmer (the fact my younger Toosh is in the water at all is a huge success), (4) ride a two-wheel bike  (what was I thinking – at least I succeeded last summer with Cruz), etc….the list goes on and on of what I have failed at. The one thing that I feel proud of in regards to my mothering is having the difficult conversation about race, religion, injustice, and the world current events with my kids.  The thoughts and conversations have been far from perfect, but they have been a start. Although at times it feels rather forced or weird, it is a dialogue that we want to have with our kids. They are mixed children,  in terms of religion, race, and culture, and we want them to see the world as a WHOLE. With the tragedies occurring in our world / country with race relations, it is imperative that we have real conversations about what is happening.

 

I recently found four books (at the library) that have been helpful with our daily conversations; I want the kids to understand that even though people may look different or have different traditions, they are the same, and should be treated with the same amount of kindness. Also, here is an interesting article on how to talk to your children about race (from last year, but still relevant).

 

Books

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Summer 2016 Reading List

Summer (for me) officially begins tomorrow when I fly out to Oregon with the kids to spend the summer with my parents. Once out there, I have no friends, no life, no tutoring, and no real responsibilities (not necessarily very “summer-like” for most people….but it is my way of recharging). It is the PERFECT time for me to read. I have a long list of books I would like to read this summer, so here they are.  If you have any book suggestions, please share.

 

Books / xoxo / Cruz

Books / xoxo / Cruz

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Summer 2015 Book List

I hope everyone had a nice Father’s Day! I had a wonderful time celebrating with my guapo, devoted, hands on, loving husband who is the BEST father out there; by riding carousels, sweating buckets at the Playground, drinking milkshakes and eating at Fred’s with my Father-in-law (also a terrific father). Next up, celebrating my own incredible fanny-pack-wearing, dependable, loveable, and smartest man alive father– when we go to Oregon on WEDNESDAY!!!! Not only do our packed bags signify the summer, but so too does my stack of fun books to read. So here is my summer 2015 Book List!

 

GREEN

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Self Help Books for Kids

Self help books for kids???? Sounds a little new-age-y and crazy! But let me tell you….they are AWESOME! A bundle of self-help-positive-books were given to Tusia for her first birthday (which if you can do the math, is two years ago) by a dear friend, and I find myself enjoying the books just as much as my kids do. They serve as good reminders, and help me have positive discussions with my 3 year old, 5 year old, and myself! So much that I wanted to share them with you all, too! I feel that these books give me the tools and ability to talk with them about being mindful and what really matters.  NAMASTE.

 

The perfect bundle -- how special and perfect is this assortment of books?

The perfect bundle — how special and perfect is this assortment of books? (A lot more unique and touching than a beautiful onesie…)

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Early 2015 Reading List

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a restful weekend — I know I did! Before I get going with the books I want to read, here is a must-watch video. I have watched it numerous times and I cry every single time….so watch it….And Yes, I tend to watch more videos than I read. Not that I have a lot of time / energy / stamina these days, but there are SOOOO many books that I want to read! Just need to make it more of a priority (and find more hours in my day)…..here are the books that I want to devour in the coming weeks and months!

 

1. All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 7.52.57 PM

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Summer 2014 Reading List

Summer is my main time to read a lot; longer days, less to do, and no TV. That said, I have been obsessed with Scandal (so horrible it’s good), surfing the internet (searching for a fall coat), and sports (Wimbledon and World Cup)… so here is my list of books to read this summer! Hope you get some inspiration from this list. Enjoy!

 

1. A Replacement Life (Boris Fishman)

 

boris

 

(Side note: Boris Fishman’s father is a doorman in our building.  The story behind the family and the book is truly inspiring, and I can’t wait to share more with you in a future post.)

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Currently Loving…

Happy last week of January. Can you believe we are almost 1/12 done with 2014? WHOA. Speaking of randomness, here is a random grouping of (random) items I am currently loving…..Enjoy!

 

600 Hours of Edward

I devoured this book over the weekend…highly recommend! It is heart wrenching, thoughtful and an enjoyable overall read.

600 hours

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Fall 2013 Reading List

Maybe it is because I am becoming older and more “mature,” but recently, I’ve been craving books instead of TV (or maybe it is because I need more TV shows to watch).  I know, crazy… I am a full-fledged adult. Here are my top picks for this Fall and Winter!  Perfect as you gear up for Thanksgiving travel..

 

books

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36 Hours

Every Sunday, The New York Times Travel section has a column titled “36 Hours” where they highlight all that you can do in a specific city for 36 hours. The popular column helps you create a a dream weekend with realistic and approachable itineraries — ideal for us OCD planners. The Times and book publisher Taschen came together to create a series of books with updated and new versions of the columns– a perfect gift for Father’s Day, an anniversary, a housewarming, or just a token to say I-love-you.

The colorful trio of books.

The colorful trio of books.

Not only are these books incredibly informative and practical, but they are also beautiful and special. Put them on your coffee table to stir up a conversation or place them on your nightstand to read before bed!

On shelf.

On shelf.

I bought three books from the series, USA Northeast, USA Westcoast, and 150 weekends in USA and Canada (which is the whole American/ Canadian series in one book. Ken would point out that buying all three of these is unnecessary.  OOPS!).

West Coast Love.

West Coast Love.

Northeast Like.

Northeast Like.

USA weekend trips!

USA weekend trips!

Below is a sample of 36 Hours from the Times online.  Auckland, New Zealand!

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Spring 2013 Reading List

Here we go, again. Officially on spring break, I have more time, energy, and desire to read books! So here is my long, aspirational, and overly-hopeful list of books to read for Spring (Summer / Fall / Winter) 2013!

1. Me Before You (Jojo Moyes)

Me before You

2. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Sheryl Sandberg)

Lean In

3. Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)

Unbroken

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Spring Reading List

I used to pride myself on the fact that I was a book-worm and read all the time. Now, it is far from the truth, as I just don’t have the time anymore…. or the ability to focus on small black and white letters on a page. It is not that I don’t try to read, I do. I swear, but with my son, American Idol, US magazine, people.com, there are too many distractions at night….yes, I am blonde.

Here are my Spring Reading List books, because starting yesterday, I am making a commitment to read more. (These books are in no particular order).

1. By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop (Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson)

Invitation Only

2. Forgotten Country (Catherine Chung)

Forgotten Country

3. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Cheryl Strayed)

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