life Parenting Planners Reading

5 on a Thursday: Hodgepodge Edition

September 8, 2022

1- My Ashley Shelly / Amanda’s Favorites monthly planner arrived! I love using this little booklet to sort of pre-plan out the year (call weeks, vacation weeks, etc – the big things). Plus it’s fun to support Amanda.

The inside features monthly layouts WITH LINES and then a blank page between each month. This would also make a cool and fairly compact running training journal or media journal (collect books read, movies watched, etc). This particular version is sold out but the link above is to her very similar monthly books.

so pretty!

2- Snapshot of the current moment –> Kids driving to school playlist:

  • Rihanna, “We Found Love (in a hopeless place)”
  • Dua Lipa, “Levitating”
  • Taron Egerton, “Sky Full of Stars” (Sing 2 Version)
  • Halsey, “Could Have Been Me” (Sing 2)
  • Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”
  • Belinda Carlisle, “Heaven is a Place on Earth”

Which one of the above doesn’t belong? Haha. G loves that last track though!

3- I can’t wait to read this:

I’m seeing this book everywhere! When I first did, I had the strangest moment because I was like . . . “wait, I knew a Shelby Van Pelt! Are there two Shelby Van Pelts!?!?” because the Shelby I knew was a running blogger in the mid-late oughts in NC, hitting just the right amount of snark, and we went to a Girl Talk concert together that is still memorable to this day (and I have blog evidence, lol). But at that point, I don’t think she was writing acclaimed novels.

Well, not shockingly, it’s the same Shelby!!!! So cool to see her success and I cannot wait to read this; I’ve heard it compared to Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here, which I really liked. It’s next in my queue and I got a copy via Libby (yay) so I will be diving into it soon.

4- Huge congrats to Chelsea who qualified for the Boston Marathon this year! She has put in so much consistent effort over the years in addition to smart (and intense) training and I am just so excited for her. I felt like this deserved more than a mini-party in the comments. GO CHELSEA!!

5- School routines: I feel like we are in a good place right now!! Bedtime is working well (!!!!!), after school is fairly functional (and starting to get busier but not overwhelmingly so — it helps that no one has long sports games or practices right now). Mornings are even mostly decent although this morning 2/3 woke up annoyingly early, which is blah. On the upside, I have even been able to eat dinner with the kids most nights! Hopefully this isn’t just a honeymoon phase . . .


  • Reply Irene September 8, 2022 at 7:21 am

    Oh my gosh I used to LOVE her blog! Will have to get this book. Yay, so nice to hear things are going well (at least professionally) for someone you used to “know” based on their blog.

  • Reply Chelsea September 8, 2022 at 7:47 am

    1. Thank you 🙂 🙂 :). About 4pm yesterday I turned the corner from feeling like total post-race garbage and now I’m flying high 🙂

    2. I loved Remarkably Bright Creatures – one of my favorites this year. I think the audio version was also narrated by the same woman (Marin Ireland) who read Nothing to See Here, and it’s very good.

    3. I was wondering exactly the same thing about Shelby Van Pelt! I googled her a bit and thought her current picture looked like what I remembered her looking like… on a blog… 15 years ago. I’m excited for her. It really is a terrific book, and I’m glad she’s seeing so much success and attention for it.

  • Reply Sarah D September 8, 2022 at 9:04 am

    We have a remarkably similar “playlist” including both songs from Sing 2- and oddly enough, I don’t mind them? 🤷🏻‍♀️

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 8, 2022 at 9:06 am

      I don’t mind anything on that list … yet anyway!

  • Reply Elizabeth September 8, 2022 at 9:15 am

    Sarah!! BEDTIME IS GOING WELL!!!!! Way to bury the lead! Seriously so happy for you. Has it even been a month since you published the post despairing of it?? This is remarkable! GO, YOU!!!!

    Also I’m going to finish Remarkably Bright Creatures today and truly love it. Hope you do, too!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns September 8, 2022 at 9:33 am

    Glad bedtime is going so much better! That is huge as rough bedtimes are the absolutely worst. I’m resigning myself to the fact that our kids are just going to be early risers. I envy people whose kids sleep until like 7, but since we leave the house at 6:45, they are programmed to be up early. We won’t get the toddler up until 6, but if the 4yo comes out before 6, there is no talking him into going back to bed. But everyone tells me that someday they will be hard to wake up. 😉

    I’ve heard amazing things about Remarkably Bright Creatures so I’m on a long hold list for it. That is so cool that you knew the author!

    Your kids’ playlist is fun! We listen to Taylor Swift or Brandi Carlile in the morning. Often the 4.5yo asks for “you need to calm down” because he thinks his 1.5yo brother will listen to the message and stop screaming/yelling… it works sometimes!

  • Reply Janelle September 8, 2022 at 10:05 am

    I think Sing 2 is my favourite kids movie. At least favourite non-Disney (Moana may always have my heart).
    I just started Remarkably Bright Creatures and it’s a breath of fresh air after a DNF.

  • Reply Noemi September 8, 2022 at 10:29 am

    I just have to say, that I have also now reserved Shelby Van Pelt’s book in Libby, and that sent me down a small rabbit hole through your blog. I landed on this post: …. and wow!! It sounds like you may have manifested your dream job! How do you feel about your job/career/life now, compared to what you dreamed it would be in 2011?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 8, 2022 at 10:42 am

      Oh wow that post is .. interesting. I actually still remember that day and m one patient from that day well.

      The idea that my income didn’t matter at all sounds a bit naive however. I would not say that today. But 2011 me did have a good vision and it’s not terribly far off!!!!

      • Reply omdg September 8, 2022 at 1:30 pm

        In all fairness, you probably didn’t realize how expensive having three kids was going to be at that point… I also think the income thing is interesting because, at least back in 2014 I wasn’t really “allowed” to talk about wanting any particular income, and I was supposed to choose my medical specialty based purely on my love for it and the patients. So maybe it’s a generational thing, and now doctors are allowed to talk about money sometimes?

        • Reply Amy September 8, 2022 at 8:35 pm

          Oh yeah. I’m a therapist with a background in a notoriously low-paying field. The idea that you should be “in it for the outcome, not the income” is so pernicious, naive, and idealistic — and yet those of us in the helping professions are so often made to feel greedy for wanting compensation commensurate with our efforts and training! I’m lucky that I transitioned from traditional social work into psychotherapy, which (while I will never be a high earner) offers a lot more income potential. I’m open about that, but I still can’t quite shake the feeling that I’m asking for too much by commanding a high hourly rate.

          • Sarah Hart-Unger September 8, 2022 at 9:19 pm

            I have happily paid therapists and psychologists way more than my own hourly rate- it’s tough and valuable work!

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 8, 2022 at 9:18 pm

          Yes! I do feel like it probably felt like the “right” thing to say ANd I had unrealistic expectations about the cost of raising kids in the manner we have chosen to (which is not in any way the only way to do it, but it is $$$!)

  • Reply Holly September 8, 2022 at 10:36 am

    Omg I just have to say – Shelby Van Pelt, what a throwback!!! Also used to love her blog back in the day. Thanks for the heads up about her book, will def check it out!

  • Reply Grateful Kae September 8, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    Never heard of Shelby, but just checked out the book and will totally be adding this to my list! I don’t read a TON of fiction, but I love books that are “wry” and “witty”, as one blurb described it. (I loved this about A Gentleman in Moscow… the matter of fact comments the Count would make that were so truthful and insightful yet hilarious and ironic in a very witty way, if that makes sense?). Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Reply Justine September 8, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Since you’re on a Handmaid’s Tale kick, as a preview “Heaven is a place on earth” is heavily featured in an episode in season 3 : )

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger September 8, 2022 at 9:16 pm

      I am very excited about this and still so many episodes away!!

  • Reply Laura September 9, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    The Ashley Shelly Monthly Notebook Planner is exactly what I’ve been looking for in terms of layout, but they don’t seem to ship to the UK 😕. Do you have any recommendations for very similar options that might offer international shipping?

    • Reply Nathalie KP October 10, 2022 at 9:14 am

      Maybe a little late to reply to this, but she has an Etsy store which does ship to Europe (I’m in the Netherlands). Maybe she also ships to the UK. And she is very good to reply when you send e-mail. She even added planners to the Etsy store when I asked for other an monthly and a daily.

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