Organizing your reading

Recently I mentioned in my post here that I love my Kindle. It helps me organize my reading in a few ways:

-I can create sections on the Kindle to organize the books by topic, genre, etc.

-It saves me space because I don’t have as many ‘hard copy’ books coming into our house.

-If there is a quote or a passage I want to remember, I can ‘highlight’ it on the kindle or ‘share’ it on Facebook.

-I can also read my Kindle books on my iPad (brand new for me and I love that too!) using the Amazon Kindle app. This means that my husband and I can be reading our Kindle books at the same time.

Yea Kindle!


But I also have REAL books too. And we have a lot. Here’s how I keep those organized so they don’t look like this:


-We mostly only keep books in two places to prevent them from overtaking our house. In our den, we keep anything we want on display because they are either pretty or really interesting, such as pictorial books, travel guides, or books we’ve read that we would really recommend and lend out. That way guests can see these books and browse through them if they want to. We also keep many of our photo albums here so that they have a better chance of actually being looked at.

-We keep the rest of our books in a small closet that has a lot of shelves. These are mostly paperbacks or informative/manual type books, such as our book on dog training….If you knew our dogs, you would understand why the dog training book is in absolutely pristine untouched condition. I also have several signed or more rare books in here because I want to keep them looking good. Someday, I would love to have a collection of extremely rare books. I worked in a bookstore for years and have a deep appreciation for the entire process of writing and making a book. That is why I still keep a collection of books, however enamored I may be of my e-reader.

-The only other place I have a few books is in the guest room. They are paperback novels that are in a basket with some magazines.

-We separate our books based on genre and also by size to make them easy to find and a little nicer looking.

And here are two ways I use the internet to organize my reading:

-My sisters, my best friends and I just started a book club. Since we all live in different states, it’s hard to schedule a way to meet. My sister Kelly had the idea to start a Facebook group page for the book club. That way we can all comment and keep up without having to work out everyone’s schedule.

-I also am a TAD obsessed with the website This site lets you:

~Record and review books you’ve already read

~Keep a list of books you want to read in the future

~They also have a function where you can create groups, but we used Facebook as mentioned above because not everyone in our bookclub is currently on GoodReads.

~The site will make recommendations based on books you’ve already read and liked. You can add their recommendations to your ‘to-read’ list or you can mark ‘not interested’. These choice will help tailor future recommendations for you.

~You can add friends and create a social network around the books you are reading. Finally! A social network I can jump whole-heartedly into. 🙂

~My friend Kristi showed me the other day that GoodReads also lists quotes! I love quotes, but it takes me FOREVER to find ones that I really like online. GoodReads has an astounding collection of quotes and you can search by keyword or author. You can even ‘like’ the quotes so they are saved for you to view later. Seriously, people, this is a great and useful website.

I am currently reading 5 (count em, 5!) books from different genres. I usually don’t have that many going on at one time, but that’s how it ended up right now. However, between my hard copies, e-reader, Good Reads, and Facebook, I’m managing to keep it all straight. Expect a couple of book reviews in the near future, my friends.

And by the way, don’t even get me started on how many kids books we have at our house. I didn’t even include those in here at all….that is a post for another day. Happy reading!






Initial Baskets

I am not a creative person by nature. I like the idea of creativity, but it is not something that comes naturally. So I, like so many others, have turned to Pinterest for inspiration. Today’s project comes from something I repinned from my blog friend Kelly’s board. See her other pins here!

The concept was to cover wooden letters with book pages. My plan was to do this with the word READ and put it in the boys room. But I wanted to test it first, so I got two small wooden letters. I chose E and O because that’s what the kids names start with:

Then I bought a Winnie the Pooh book at a used book store. I told the guy at the store I was buying it to cut a couple pages out and I thought he was going to faint. But I assured him it was for a reading corner project and that no other books would be harmed in the making of this project.

I flipped through the book until I found a picture I thought would work size-wise for the letters. Then I cut a square of the page out for each letter and glued it to the top of the wood. I used Mod Podge for the first time ever!

Then I took a super sharp craft knife that I got for an art class in college. When was the last time I used that thing? The art class in college …and that was a looong time ago. I flipped the letters upside down and cut the extra paper off. When I flipped them back over, they looked like this!

I loved them! I sanded the edges a little and then used a couple coats of a  spray adhesive over the top just to protect them. Soon I will be posting about the other, similar project I was doing at the same time. It was NOT so easy breezy as this one.

I wanted to do something really cute with the letters since they turned out so good. I knew I had two wicker baskets in the boys room so I decided to attach the letters. I didn’t have any specific to attach them with, but I was able to find some small picture hangers in the garage, so I just hammered them into the back (well, actually my husband hammered them in while I fretted about the wood cracking).  But it was all good!

Anyways….I put a piece of string through each bracket and tied them to the baskets. Ta da!

Cute labeled baskets which are personalized, fun and easy to make. They look adorable in the boys room….now I just have to figure out what to put in them….

I’m kind of liking this DIY Craft stuff. More to come!


Inspiration week…and a half

Ok, so this is not a calendar week, but I started inspiration week on a weird day, so let’s continue! This past weekend was a full one. We did some hanging out with friends, a drive on some forest service roads, and a little downtime with the kids. But in the midst of that, I created a whirlwind disaster in my kitchen.

Don’t judge me! I was re-doing my pantry and had every single thing stacked on the counter, tables, window sills, dog cage, etc. I’ll show you the outcome of that project shortly. There are still a few final touches I want to add. Between that gigantic project and a bunch of smaller ones, I didn’t even turn on my computer all weekend. I think that is seriously a first in years!!!!

Anyways…’s inspiration is from KatsMeoww. Her post on Procrastinating (read it here) has quickly changed my life for the better! How cute is this girl’s blog???? Love it!

In her post, she quotes a line from ‘The Happiness Project”:

“Don’t put off anything you can do in less than a minute.”

Love this idea so much that it is ridiculous. In fact, I just signed up for ‘The Happiness Project” blog. Follow it here.

How often do you think “I should clean that mirror later” or “I’ll just make my bed tomorrow” or any of a zillion simple tasks that you put off for no good reason at all. Well, I’m taking this ‘less than a minute’ concept as a personal challenge. I am doing quick things like making my bed, wiping down the bathroom counter every day, flossing! Over the weekend, I super glued a little knob back onto a small drawer. That thing had been sitting there for over a month! My husband used Wd-40 on the pantry which has been squeaking since who knows when!

The point is, we often spend more time considering whether to do something than it would actually take to just complete the task. So get up right now and do one small thing that takes less than a minute! Clear it off your to do list and out of your head so you can focus on more important things.

Speaking of more important things…take 1 minute to tell your spouse you love them, or give your kids an extra hug or two, write a quick email to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. For me, it’s time to start making minutes count. They pass so quickly, let’s not waste them!