Saturday, July 28, 2018

6 Affordable Ways to Read Books

As many of you know, I love to read. I average around 30 books per year, and this year I am on pace to hit around 40. Reading brings me so much joy, and I love to recommend good books to friends. I can promise I'll be bringing some your way soon. 

First, though, I've been asked several times where I find my books. Walking in to Barnes & Noble and buying books at full price can be expensive. While I dream of having the money to do that someday, right now I read books as inexpensively as possible. Here are six ways I've found to make reading affordable.

1. The Library!
I typically go to the library for children's books. The idea of wandering through the adult sections with all the kids in tow makes me anxious. I have visions of an old librarian shushing me and glaring in my direction. Then someone pointed out to me that I can place books on hold. Life. Changed. Now, I request books through my library's online website, get an email when they come in, and go pick them up in the hold section. Free books, less stress- a win all around!

2. Overdrive/ Axis 360

Most libraries offer an online platform to read e-books or listen to audio books. You can find it by asking a librarian or checking your local library's website. My library used to use Overdrive and recently switched to Axis 360. I love that I can request e-books and read them for free from home. You can request popular books, old books, books yet-to-be-released (you just have to wait until they are released to read those). Even better, there are no late fees. The app simply removes the book from your device when your rental period ends. 

3. Amazon

Amazon offers books at consistently low prices, and they frequently run deals on books and e-books. I keep a wishlist of books I'd like to buy, and check it every so often for sales. I also follow a number of my favorite authors over social media and they will promote their books when they go on sale. Amazon also often does 99¢ e-book deals that I take advantage of. (See #6 for more specifics on e-book deals!)

4. Scribd

Scribd is a paid subscription service that gives you access to ebooks, audio books, and magazines. This is the only paid book subscription service I use. For $8.99, my kids and I can read a wide variety of current and past books and audio books. Eli uses Scribd every day during our afternoon rest time to listen to his favorite chapter books (like Magic Tree HouseBoxcar Children, and Beverly Cleary books). I love that Scribd works across multiple devices like my Kindle tablet and my phone. Plus, I can "save" books in my account under different folders so that the kids and I can each access our own choices. 

5. Audible

Audible has a wide array of audio book options. You can subscribe monthly, or you can purchase books individually. I don't have a subscription, but I have bought a couple books through them. The benefit is that even if you don't have a subscription, you can keep and access the books you purchase at any time.

Modern Mrs. Darcy, one of my favorite bloggers, promotes daily e-book deals. She often gives her own opinions of the books, or references helpful reviews of them, so that you don't buy "blind". I check her site every few weeks and usually find at least one book to buy for under $2.

Bonus: Ask a friend! You never know what books might be on a friend's shelf waiting for you to borrow.

I hope you are able to enjoy more books this summer. How do you find good deals on books? I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!

Affliate links used in this post. If you buy through the links, know I am grateful for your support!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

I Am Afraid of Myself

I am afraid of myself on my darkest days.
And even sometimes on my good days too.

I am afraid of facing my real life.
I sleep instead of finding time for what mattes.

I am afraid of losing my temper with my kids.
I scroll through my phone rather than engaging in play.

I am afraid of my post-three-pregnancies body.
I dress is stretchy pants and flowy shirts to hide my supposed flaws.

I am afraid to fail.
I eat dessert to avoid facing the challenge of a healthy lifestyle.

I am afraid of who I have become.
I put on makeup each day to cover deep fears and flaws.

I am afraid of my potential.
I make excuses rather than pursuing my dreams.

I am afraid of myself.
I choose silence over speaking out.

And yet.

I find courage in Jesus.
I spend time in worship, prayer, and Scripture.

I find courage in community.
I make time for deep and honest friendships.

I find courage in the women around me.
I watch others speak out and begin to use my voice.

I find courage in myself.
I push through the struggle to the strength I have inside.

I discover that at the end of it all, my fear is eclipsed by courage.

Friday, July 20, 2018

A few of my favorite things: July

Happy Friday! July has been a HOT month for us. I've found myself drawn to quiet and cool indoor things. Although our days at the pool have been a favorite too.

(Matching shirts are from OshKosh, doll is from BlaBla.)

Affliate links used in this post. If you buy through the links, know I am grateful for your support!

Here are few things I'm loving this month:

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
This book was recommended to me by Modern Mrs. Darcy- my favorite blog for new reads! I love this line from page one, " The story has drawn me in and kept me guessing. It switches between characters without getting too confusing, and I can tell it's getting closer to a final reveal as I get deeper into the book. I'll let you know what I think when I finish it!

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie on Amazon Prime Video
Between house showings and a stomach bug, we've been relying on movies more than normal. This one is a favorite of both kids and me!

Creating Space for Quiet
It's so easy for me to turn to social media, audiobooks, or a movie when I have free time. I've been working to create more space to read, journal, and pray lately. I've seen such a difference in my daily attitude.

Summer Maxi Dress
I've been living in this dress (I have it in gray). It feels like pajamas but looks so much more polished. I'm thinking I'll try it with a belt for a different look sometime.

Puddle Jumper Floaties
One of my friends has a pool at her apartment complex and we've been going about once a week all summer. I'll be honest, the idea of swimming with three kids totally terrified me until my friend told me about these puddle jumpers. Now I can enjoy the pool and so can the kids.

What are you loving this month?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hello Again

Gilmore Girls: Season One, Episode One. The perfect background to resuming blogging. "If you lead me, I will follow..."

I always dream of living somewhere like Stars Hollow and being friends with Lorelai and Rory. I think about quiet days, small towns, humor, and all the things Gilmore Girls bring. I hope to be the Allen girls someday. I also realized that Lorelai is only a year older than me. AND SHE HAS A 16 YEAR OLD. Well then, back to my own life!

So here we are again. After a season of silence, I've been encouraged by a few friends to reopen my blog. If you haven't followed me on Instagram (@thedomesticengineer), I've been learning all about mothering three kids, spending time with Jesus, reading good books, and how to manage the stress of a cross-country move. I am excited to share all about of this with you and more!

So comment below, tell me what you've been up to and what you would like to hear about!