life Parenting Reading

5 on a Friday: May Life Happenings Edition

May 6, 2022

1- The school is holding some big parents’ meeting today and I’m going to miss it due to a required work meeting. Though it just occurred to me that Josh might be able to go. Apparently there will be some big announcement. I’m hoping it will be the official return of a school lunch option, music lessons, and drama? One can hope.

2- I think I am going to pull the trigger and buy plane tickets to PHL to visit my parents with G over 4th of July this summer (Josh is working that weekend + the big kids will be at camp). Ticket prices are literally triple what I was used too paying, maybe more! Wow. From an environmental perspective, perhaps this is a good thing? But tough to get used to. Multiply those prices by 5 and I am sure this will impact how often we plan to travel as a family in the coming months. There are plenty of options to relax + enjoy within driving distance (and thankfully we have relatively fuel-efficient vehicles – though not yet electric!).

3- My sister watched HBO’s Not So Pretty and texted me about 13 times about the dangers of talc in makeup, including my standby Dior eyeshadow (noooo!). So now I actually have an excuse to buy makeup. Part of me wonders about whether the ‘clean’ beauty industry might be making these documentaries to keep the consumer wheels churning but . . . I also don’t like the idea of asbestos in my eyeshadow. Thinking of trying the Ilia or Pacifica options shown on this list. (The slight irony of this is that my sister uses very few beauty products! But I guess it was an absorbing docuseries nonetheless).

4- Dial A for Aunties has arrived at my local library for me thanks to your recs! Perfect timing as I’m close to the end of In a New York Minute, which was super cute and endearing (maybe I need to read more romances, I was into it!). I am very happy to be back in a reading groove and am very much looking forward to the release of Anne Bogel‘s Summer Reading Guide! (I might actually join her Patreon for the extras. This would be only non-planner-related Patreon subscription!).

5- Neighborhood book club . . . On a similar note, I’ve had “start neighborhood book club” on my goals list for months and told myself I would get the ball rolling once we moved. Well — we moved! So I think I will send a text out to the community listserv today. I’m oddly kind of nervous about it, but I guess the worst case is that there is no interest, and then I can pull from other pools (work?). Or maybe I’ll find out there already IS a book club and get invited to join. That would be fine with me too as I actually would prefer not to have the work of organizing! But I don’t think one exists in my immediate neighborhood.

Life snapshots:

A’s class (4-5th grade) field trips are far beyond anything I can remember doing at that age!
Attempting to learn 2 chords to play “Lava” from the Disney short. Also needs a haircut 🙂
G was “child of the day” and apparently is holding a bubble in a glove (?)

Aaaaand it’s Mother’s Day weekend! We have a busy/social one (multiple bday parties etc). When are we ever going to make it to IKEA to buy shelves? I guess boxes aren’t that bad . . .


  • Reply Carrie May 6, 2022 at 6:53 am

    I also read “in a New York minute” I think at your recommendation and I LOVED it. Apparently I am a romantic?? Keep on trudging!

  • Reply Omdg May 6, 2022 at 6:54 am

    Order the shelves from Amazon.

    I admire you for starting a book club in your new neighborhood. This is something I would never do because of the fear that nobody would come, or worse, they would come and decide I am lame and never talk to me again. Keep up posted on how it goes!

    • Reply A. May 6, 2022 at 7:27 am

      Why Amazon? Amazon is super bad for the economy world wise. It is not an ethical company, they don’t support their employes… super easy to find those infos in multiple articles. If privileged and educated people still buy on Amazon after knowing it is bad, we are a f*ed up society.

      • Reply Omdg May 6, 2022 at 7:52 am

        Because it is convenient. There is probably nothing I would want to do less with my limited free time than go to ikea for any reason. If not Amazon, some other online store.

      • Reply Ann May 6, 2022 at 8:21 am

        This level of judgement has no place on this blog. People choose what’s important to them and what businesses they support and people not aligning with your choices does not mean that we are and “effed up society.” Yikes.

        • Reply Connie C May 6, 2022 at 9:32 am

          What OP said.

      • Reply Amy May 6, 2022 at 11:14 am

        Assume you’re reading and writing this from a made-in-China smartphone while wearing clothes made in sweatshops, so spare me the moral posturing

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 6, 2022 at 10:06 am

      I would love to have you at my book club for what it’s worth! 😛

  • Reply Gillian May 6, 2022 at 7:11 am

    I have used RMS beauty eye polish for a long time and can recommend it. I have largely RMS and Ilia products for several years. I read Sicker, Fatter Poorer by Leonardo Tresande a Pediatrician at NYU and changed several of our household routines based on his ideas.

  • Reply Coree May 6, 2022 at 9:22 am

    A 1-1 trip sounds super fun. My husband is going up north for work and taking some extra time to do some exploring and hiking (it’s a long drive + ferries and I’m terribly travel sick) so kiddo and I are headed to Portugal for 2 weeks to hang out with my parents. I am weirdly excited about heading through the airport together. He’ll be nearly 5 and travel is so EASY now: he carries his own stuff and on the plane, he watches Netflix on the ipad and eats snacks, and I read my book.

    • Reply omdg May 6, 2022 at 10:28 am

      I took my daughter to visit my in-laws in Italy when she was 4&5 and I agree that this is a fantastic age to do this. Have fun!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 6, 2022 at 10:04 am

    A solo trip with G would probably be really fun. When we went to AZ to visit my sister in Feb, our 4yo was a great traveler! Actually both kids did pretty well overall, but the 4yo was WAY WAY WAY easier and less stress-inducing than the 1yo!

    I hope you get some responses re: the book club or find there is one already established. There was one on my old block but I never got a chance to join since it always conflicted with my schedule, but I was happy to have a way to get to know others on the block! I bet you’ll get a similar reaction. Being able to walk down the block to someone’s house is such a low barrier to joining – at least that is my perspective in this stage of life. We moved onto our block in Nov 2019 and winter is a hard time to meet people. Then the pandemic hit so we are still working on establishing relationships on our block, but I’ve luckily become very very good friends with my neighbor – we run together several times/week and her youngest is the same age as my oldest. Having a friend on my block is a dream come true, but I think they will probably move in the next year or two so I am soaking it up while I can!

  • Reply Grateful Kae May 6, 2022 at 10:16 am

    I would love a podcast episode or blog post or something all about makeup. I guess maybe this topic doesn’t really fit either “working mom” OR “planning” podcast though, lol!! But I seriously feel so lost in that department. It’s been on my list to “figure out better makeup” since like, 2019 at least. I wear makeup, but I just don’t know much about it and probably wear it all wrong. Ha. Mostly just get drugstore stuff but I always feel like as a grown-up I should have better/nicer/quality makeup and actually know how to appropriately apply it. But then it’s so overwhelming to me I don’t even really try. Not to even mention there’s this whole other side, about clean makeup, etc. If anyone has tips on… you tube Channels? tutorials? Brands? Etc I would so love to hear them.

    • Reply KGC May 6, 2022 at 10:21 am

      I second this suggestion! I would love to hear about it.

      @GK, in case you find this helpful: several years ago, I put on my big girl pants and marched myself into Sephora, found a very nice-looking woman, and said, “I am finally ready, at age 30-something, to learn how to wear makeup. Can you help me?” I was VERY CLEAR about my time and money constraints (I won’t spend more than 5 minutes total, I won’t spend more than $XYZ amount) and that I wanted to just establish a simple makeup routine that could be slightly modified for night out. My consultant was FANTASTIC. She did half my face, then would have me practice on the other. Could not have been more patient and 100% listened to what I said. At the time, the consultation was free as long as you spent $50 (which I did) and I was so happy walking out of there. I recently went back for a ‘tune up’ and – again – found someone who was super helpful, listened, and gave great recommendations. Soooo maybe give it a try!?!?

      • Reply Grateful Kae May 6, 2022 at 1:00 pm

        Thank you! Yes, going to Sephora just as you did and begging for help was kind of my only idea so far. I’ve just been putting it off….I’m thinking maybe I’ll go some weekday when I take a day off from work, when the store is hopefully quiet and empty!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 6, 2022 at 2:17 pm

          Great idea!!!

  • Reply Shweta May 6, 2022 at 10:39 am

    In March 2021, I posted on a Facebook group of my subdivision asking if there was a local book club I could join. 30 people (all women!) commented saying they would love to join. So I started a book club in 2 easy steps – 1) Make a Facebook messenger group with everyone who commented 2) Send out a 3 question survey using Survey Monkey (3 book suggestions, 3 date/time suggestions and 3 location suggestions). We started with zoom, then in a park, in a restaurant patio, once even in my garage with a space heater last winter and finally, indoors at restaurants! I met so many neighbors and made so many friends over the last year! We have a super fun group of 15 reader friends and we celebrated our one year anniversary last month with cute book shaped cookies!

    My point is: It is can be a very low effort and high reward initiative to start a book club. Go for it! 🙂

    • Reply Nicole Vinson May 6, 2022 at 11:29 am

      Just read your similar comment and wanted to send it a heart emoji!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 6, 2022 at 2:17 pm

      Yay! Okay here I go!!!!

  • Reply Nicole Vinson May 6, 2022 at 11:14 am

    The story of how our book club got started. I had always wanted to start a book club and finally met a mom at the part who who wanted to start one. We decided that even if it was just us, we would attend. We picked the last Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm. (so there was a chance the kiddos could be in beds or at least mostly done with activities and dinner- the rest was up to dad) We started with a very popular new book that would draw interest and we limited it to our neighborhood.

    The person who is the host for the next event brings 3 book suggestions and we vote. We have done theme months for extra fun too. Roating makes it easier on all of us and by voting on the book suggestion, the process is easy and we read books of various genres that I would have never grabbed or borrowed from Libby.

    We talk about the book and the authors and also have a no spoilers text chain going between meetings. Do we drink wine, why yes we do, but the common bond is reading the same book and discussing.

    That was nearly two years ago and we have 8 solid members.

    We have even done a book club sleepover when one of us at an empty family condo available. It was an hour away and we spent one night but it was such a treat!

    Hope your book club gets traction. If you build it, they will come.

    • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 6, 2022 at 3:32 pm

      We have a similar approach to choosing books – each member suggests 3 and the group votes! Our group is big on using the library, so we actually pick out books at the beginning of the year. In January, we meet and each person gives an overview of the 3 books she suggested, we use survey monkey to vote, and then I set the cadence for the books based on library availability. It has worked really well. We used to have the host pick the book but it has worked better to vote so there is some buy-in on what we are reading. My book club has been going strong for 8 years!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 6, 2022 at 4:39 pm

        Ooh I like that!!

    • Reply Sara May 6, 2022 at 4:33 pm

      My book club withered away during 2020 but we had a good three+ year run! Highly recommend what another commenter suggested — rotate who is in charge so this doesn’t become another stressful thing for you. We switched around and the “host” suggested three books, which the others voted on. We were pre-covid in a large city so we always met at the same restaurant, which was about equi-distant for participants. For the last year or so, we switched to not all reading the same book. Everyone would share a little about a recent book they read. It was great for adding books to my TBR list!

      • Reply Mrs.Candid May 7, 2022 at 8:06 am

        It’s good to know that even though all are not reading the same book like in a book club you have still managed to keep the club alive by sharing your recent reads.

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