Gift Guide for Book Lovers

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Book Lovers

I adore books!  I love the feel of one in my hands, how they can transport me to a new place or a new way of thinking, enjoying different writing styles, and I last but not least I love how they pique my interest and make me desire to learn new things.  I’ve always enjoyed reading but since having my daughter learn to read I’ve found a new love for it.  Together my daughter and I have enjoyed scouring old book sales to look for the classics (e.g. Heidi, The Secret Garden), old children’s encyclopedias (e.g. Childcraft and Little Golden Encyclopedia), and old series’ that we can delve into together (Betsy Tracy, The Bobbsey Twins).  We’re building our home library of living books one book at a time and I couldn’t enjoy it more.

Because books are always on my mind lately, I thought a gift guide for book lovers would be fitting.  Do you love books as much as I do or know someone who is?  If so, I hope this gift guide will help you in your search for the perfect gift!

Library Embosser

1. Want to leave your mark on your books in a classy way?  Look no further than this personalized library embosser on Amazon ($32.99).


Book Darts

Book Darts Bookmark

2. Book Darts are where it’s at!  If you want to mark your place or several passages you liked in a book without worrying about creasing the pages or hurting the binding you’ll want to grab a tin or two of these.  They’re metal, fit snuggly, and make retrieving past material a breeze.  I’ve tried a few and the Book Darts brand is worth the few extra pennies.  For under $11 on Amazon you get 125 darts.


Book Thong

3. Book Thongs.  Oh, how I dislike the name but it is descriptive and I love these too much not to include them.  The thin string fits well in between the pages without much bulk and the pretty beads on the end make me feel fancy. 🙂  You can make this gift yourself or buy the handmade one pictured above from a crafter on Amazon for under $9 shipped.

Page Anchors

4. Page Anchors are a great way to read hands free.  They’re great for cook books too!  You can buy the one above on Amazon for $150.


Weighted Bookmark

5. A less snazzy but more economical way to hold a page open is with these leather weighted book marks.  They retail on Amazon for $25 shipped.


Page Holder

6.  This is one that is on my personal wish list.  I would love to have this Page Holder to help me hold the pages open so I can read one handed.  This is $26.95 on Amazon.



7. Oooh, I also love this one!  It’s called the PagePal and has a cute little saying engraved on it.  “A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.”  Maybe I need both, one for upstairs reading and one for downstairs. 🙂  This one retails on Amazon for $14 shipped.


Book Seat

8.  The Book Seat is a flexible book holder and travel pillow in one!  Note: not intended to be used for both purposes at the same time. 🙂  The Book Seat is filled with Polystyrene beads enabling it to sit into any position.  This should help make reading even more relaxing.  There is a clear perspex page holder that enables you to read Hands-Free!  The Book Seat retails on Amazon for under $40 shipped.  I just love that it also doubles as a travel pillow.

Personal Library Set

9.  This Personal Library Kit is great for those who lend books out to friends a lot.  I’m thinking it would be great for my kids who love to make believe and would love to use this to pretend to be a librarian.  For only $16 shipped (through Amazon) I think it’s a great deal!

Card Catalog

Card Catalog Cards

10. Card catalogs may be a thing of the past but with this Card Catalog Reproduction Set you can relive the good old days…or at least feel a little nostalgic while explaining card catalogs to your kids.  “Enclosed in a keepsake replica card catalog box with tabbed dividers, each card features a different beloved work of literature straight from the storied collection of the Library of Congress.”  This set is currently $15.72 on Amazon.


Book Sleeve

11. A Book Sleeve is a must have to those who like to go about their day and bring their books along.  No more accidental pen marks or crushed pages as your book bounces along inside the bottom of your purse or bookbag.  I would have loved to have had this for my Bible in college and my daughter will love this for her books now.  They come in different sizes and a wide variety of different patterns on Amazon.  The one pictured above is 8×10 inches and is $11 shipped.


Book Journal for Kids

12.  A Book Reading Log for Kids is a great way to keep track of the books they read.  I would love to get one of these for my daughter now that she’s devouring chapter books.  When both of my kids were reading picture books this would have been too much of a hassle to keep up with because we read so many books a day but now this will be a nice way to look back and remember what we’ve read.  It’s $11 shipped from Amazon.


The Book Lover's Journal

Book Lover's Journal

13.  A Book Lover’s Journal is a reading log and journal for adults.  I love the thought provoking questions it asks and the room for notes.  I often forget things from past books (and TV shows for that matter) so it would be nice to have a record of my thoughts on a book that I can refer back to before I recommend a certain book to a person.  This hardcover spiral book retails for less than $13 shipped from Amazon.


Book Scented Candle

14.  It could be argued that any candle would make a great companion for a reader but this one that is scented to remind you of a library has to be a great gift! “The main theme is an older leather bound book accord mixed with a woody desk character of cedar and sandalwood. Hints of balsamic and vanilla finish the complex scent.”  This Book candle will burn from 60-80 hours and will only set you back $30 shipped from Amazon.


Amazon Gift Card

15.  Last but certainly not least….gift cards to buy more books!  I love old books so Amazon, ebay, and ThriftBooks are my favorite gift cards to receive.

I hope this list was helpful!  If you’re a book lover and know of anything I left off the list please let me know in the comments below.

Audiobooks for Road Trips with Kids

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Everyone loves a good story, right?  Also, everyone loves road trips with kids, right?  Yea, that last answer you gave sounded less enthusiastic that the first.  Audiobooks make road trips more than tolerable but even enjoyable!

Here are the audiobooks my kids would enjoy on a road trip and I hope yours will too!  If you’ve never tried Audible by Amazon you should look into it.  Their free trial gives you 2 free audiobooks that you get to keep even if you cancel your subscription right away.

Boxcar Children Audiobook

The first book I’d recommend is the beginning of The Boxcar Children Collection.  This series is a rich, easy read that my kids are hooked on.  My kids are 4 and 6 and they both enjoy these stories.  We haven’t enjoyed the audiobooks yet because we haven’t traveled since we’ve discovered this series but we’re already on book 38 of the series. 

This audiobook series includes 3 books for one price ($33.60) but you’ll get the whole set free plus another book if you sign up for the free trial.  I like how they’ve lumped the first three books together into one set.

Little House Audiobook

The Little House series is another great one that we’ve only had the pleasure of reading and not listening too.  It has great reviews on Amazon though so I’m sure the reader does a fabulous job.

Pippi Longstocking Audiobook

Pippi Longstocking has been a favorite of young girls for decades now and this audiobook will help introduce it to more children.

Mary Poppins Audiobook

What kids wouldn’t love a story about a nanny who could clean up their toys, dance with them on rooftops and hop into sidewalk drawings with them?  Mary Poppins is a classic and my kids adore her.

Peter Pan Audiobook

Peter Pan is another story that ignites a child’s imagination and takes them far away from home.  This is another one I think all young kids would enjoy.

A Bear Called Paddington

The bear from darkest Peru will surely warm heart young and old.  🙂  A Bear Called Paddington is another great classic book for young kids.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a delightful tale of fantasy.  I can still remember feeling my heart race as I first read this book and eagerly anticipated Charlie opening his chocolate to find the golden ticket.

I love watching my kids read books that I did as a kid and see their excitement as the characters take shape and they see themselves in the character’s shoes.  Discovering new books together is great too so please, let me know any audiobooks that your children enjoy.

15 Adult Coloring Books

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Coloring Books for Adults

I’ve been coloring since coloring wasn’t cool. {I’m singing that to the melody of Barbara Mandrell’s I Was Country song}  Wanna know a little known fact about me?  I’ve won every coloring contest I’ve ever entered.  Yep, not many people can hold a record like that. haha, I’m only kidding.  Well, it’s true but the last contest I entered was in the sixth grade and I don’t think my skills have ever developed past that of a sixth grader.  It doesn’t matter though, I still love to color.

Coloring with my daughter is one of my favorite activities.  We can concentrate on coloring our own pictures and just shoot the breeze about whatever strikes our fancy.

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the newest crazy in coloring…adult coloring books.  No, not indecent coloring books but coloring books for grown ups.  How cool is that!  Maybe I can step up my coloring skills and enter an adult coloring competition.  Nah.  Do they have those anyway?  I do however plan on buying a handful of these to keep on hand to color with my daughter and maybe I’ll let her have a page or two for herself.

Here’s my list of my favorite adult coloring books.  I don’t own them all but they are the ones on my wish list!  Some of them are pocket sized for on the go stress-relief, some leave room for doodling your own creations, and one is even a coloring book of {accurate!} vintage fashion.  How fun!

15 Adult Coloring Books


Christmas Patterns To Color1.  Christmas Patterns to ColorUsborne $5.99, Amazon $5.78


Art Nouveau Patterns to Color
2.  Art Nouveau Patterns to ColorUsborne $5.99, Amazon $4.99


Butterflies Coloring Book
3.  Butterflies Coloring BookUsborne $5.99, Amazon $5.15


Drawing Doodling and Coloring Book
4.  Drawing, Doodling, & Coloring BookUsborne $13.99, Amazon $12.31


Patterns Coloring Book5.  Patterns Coloring BookUsborne $5.99 (out of print), Amazon $3.00


Celtic Patterns to Color
6.  Celtic Patterns to ColorUsborne $5.99, Amazon $3.57


Wildflowers to Color Book
7.  Wildflowers to ColorUsborne $5.99, Amazon $5.99


Rainforest to Color
8.  Rainforest to ColorUsborne $5.99, Amazon $5.39


Nature to Color
9.  Nature to ColorUsborne $9.99, Amazon $1.93


Drawing Doodling and Coloring Fashion
10.  Drawing, Doodling, and Coloring FashionUsborne $13.99, Amazon $1.33


Color by Numbers
11.  Color by NumbersUsborne $5.99, Amazon $5.99


Patterns to Color and Doodle
12.  Pocket Patterns to Color and DoodleUsborne $6.99 (out of print), Amazon $4.39


Vintage Fashion Coloring Book
13.  Vintage Fashion Coloring BookUsborne $5.99, Amazon $4.14


Pocket Doodling and Coloring Book Red
14.  Pocket Doodling and Coloring Book (Red Edition)Usborne  $6.99, Amazon $6.97


Pocket Doodling and Coloring Book Blue
15.  Pocket Doodling and Coloring Book (Blue Edition)Usborne $6.99, Amazon $6.97

Please keep in mind that Amazon prices change constantly so double check the price before checking out.

Do you love this new trend of adult coloring books as much as I do?

 Adult Coloring Books

Why Do Kids Make Mistakes?

Why do kids make mistakes?

It’s okay, in the midst of mistakes, to verbalize that your child is not failing or a failure. Look for impressionable moments when kids need the reassurance that making mistakes is how people learn. You may not be happy with their choices, and discipline may be necessary, but also let them know they’re not stupid. In fact, letting our kids know they’re not mistakes even when they make mistakes is very important for us to communicate, especially in the hard days of parenting!

No More Perfect Kids

This excerpt is from No More Perfect Kids, a new Hearts at Home book by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch!  Pick up your copy of the book between March 13-23 and you’ll get over $100 in bonus resources!  Find out more at!

Now onto the excerpt:

Does it ever feel like your child does more wrong than they do right? As a parent, we know our kids aren’t failures. They can fail a quiz here and there, not win a tournament, and not earn a raise during their first job review, but none of that makes them failures.

They will make mistakes, though, because they’re human! To best help our kids overcome their mistakes and not feel like failures, we need to understand why they make mistakes. When a parent understands, it increases their compassion and decreases their frustration. As you listen closely and observe intently for the “why” behind their mistakes, you can know how to best support them.

Let’s explore eight reasons kids make mistakes.

1. They need more experience.

When kids complain that school is hard, remind them that if it were easy, they wouldn’t need to go. School—and much of life—is about trying new things. We must let our kids know they’re not stupid when they get things wrong. Mistakes are a part of life, and they often show up when we need more experience.

2. They need to be taught in order to be successful.

Mistakes can occur when content and tasks are new and teaching hasn’t yet occurred. Kids might enjoy trying things on their own, but then can get very frustrated when their independent approach doesn’t go well. Protect their self-esteem when you notice that the reason they did something wrong was simply because they need help or more instruction.

3. They need more time to learn something.

Errors occur because kids didn’t learn something well enough, although teaching has begun. These mistakes are a part of learning. They happen, and it’s no one’s fault. How did you learn to drive? By driving imperfectly for a while. How did you decide which barbeque sauce you prefer? By cooking with one and then another. Did you make a mistake? No. It was a “learn by doing” experience, not a “mistake by doing” experience. The language we use to discuss mistakes matters; this includes what we say to our kids and what we say inside our heads when thinking about them.

4. They need healthy motivation to do things well.

Sometimes kids make mistakes because they don’t want the additional pressure that comes with excellence. Maybe your son’s teacher keeps calling on him because he’s always attentive and right, but your son wants to take a break from that. Maybe your oldest is feeling like all your happiness is on her shoulders. That’s unhealthy motivation and creates a lot of pressure for any child.

5. They need our understanding and attention.

Kids will occasionally fail at something or make mistakes just to push our buttons. Let’s face it: They are smart little people even at a young age, and they learn the power of manipulation early.

In these cases, responding with understanding is important. When the time is right, and depending on their age, let them know you understand they’re angry or frustrated but you’d rather have them talk with you about their feelings than to act their feelings out.

6. They need more modeling and instruction related to character and obedience.

Sometimes mistakes are an issue of character. Kids might hurry through a task or assignment so they can get back to their video games. They can choose to not double-check their work because pride is in their way and they’re just convinced they haven’t made any mistakes. As parents, we need to discern whether our children are making occasional errors in judgment or if they’ve developed consistent character flaws that need to be addressed.

7. They need self-respect, self-control, and respect for others modeled for them and taught to them.

Sometimes kids’ strengths get them into trouble. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing! For example, word-smart kids might talk too much. Logic-smart kids with a heightened curiosity may ask questions to keep you distracted and to extend bedtime. We don’t want to paralyze their strengths by overreacting and being too critical, but we do need to teach the concepts of self-control and respecting others.

8. They need sleep, food, and/or emotional stability.

Do you sometimes underperform or make unhealthy decisions when you’re tired, hungry, or emotionally vulnerable? So do kids. You might discover your daughter should start her homework after having a snack. Your son may not be handling the long day of school well and may need to go to bed thirty minutes earlier than you originally thought.  To track patterns, you can keep a written record of their misbehavior using a calendar or a list. After recording a few days of when mistakes and misbehavior occur, who was present, if it was near mealtime, or if they were fatigued, you can often identify possible strategies to decrease the misbehavior.

It’s okay, in the midst of mistakes, to verbalize that your child is not failing or a failure. Look for impressionable moments when kids need the reassurance that making mistakes is how people learn. You may not be happy with their choices, and discipline may be necessary, but also let them know they’re not stupid.

In fact, letting our kids know they’re not mistakes even when they make mistakes is very important for us to communicate, especially in the hard days of parenting!

This excerpt is from No More Perfect Kids, a new Hearts at Home book by Jill Savage and Dr. Kathy Koch!  Pick up your copy of the book between March 13-23 and you’ll get over $100 in bonus resources!  Find out more at!

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Multi-Tasking Moms Giveaway! Ends 3/10

Multi-tasking Moms


Chicken Soup for the Soul: Multi-Tasking Moms Giveaway!

Moms are the busiest people in the world! They juggle kids, husbands, jobs, housework, and more. These 101 stories from other multitasking moms will inspire and amuse the woman who does it all!

Moms do it all – they juggle kids, husbands, home and office…. This collection will inspire and entertain masters of multitasking with its 101 stories from busy moms like them. Filled with words of wisdom, lessons learned, funny moments and juggling success, this book will brighten any mother’s day.

This book doesn’t go on sale until March 18th, but I have managed to get three copies to giveaway to Embracing Homemaking readers.  How exciting!  If you want to buy your own copy you can save by pre-ordering now through Amazon for $11.59 (regular price $14.95).

Now for the giveaway!

  • – Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
  • – Open to U.S. readers.
  • – You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • – Your comment can be about anything at all, but here are some ideas if you’re stuck:
  1. What’s your favorite book?
  2. Are you a great multi-tasker?
  3. Who is the best mult-tasker you know?
  4. What’s the weather like where you are?
  5. Have you drank coffee today?
  6. Do you consider yourself a book worm?
  • – You can enter up to eight ways to boost your chances of winning.
  • – The giveaway ends on Monday, March 10, 2014 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time).
  • – Full terms and conditions are available in the widget.
  • – Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My 3 Favorite Pregnancy Books

My 3 Favorite Pregnancy Books

Today I was talking to a long-time friend of mine who’s pregnant with her first child.  I’m very excited for her!  She was asking me about which pregnancy books I would recommend.  I gave her the rundown of my favorites and after I got off the phone I thought, “Hey, maybe my readers would like to know this too!”  Disclosure: I’m not a doctor, professional, or any sort of pregnancy specialist.  These are just my thoughts from my personal experience and I hope you’ll find them helpful!  Oh, and this post contains my affiliate links so if you make a purchase I’ll make a little profit at no additional cost to you.

If you’ve ever browsed around bookstores you’re probably familiar with the plethora of books written especially for moms-to-be.  This section can even be overwhelming to the women who don’t have pregnancy hormones raging!  While I haven’t read them all I’ve certainly read my share and I’m here to report on my favorites.

What to Expect When You're Expecting

  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting  This is usually the first pregnancy book that comes to mind so I’ll mention it first to get it out of the way.  It’s been a long standing New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today‘s 25 most influential books of the past 25 years so it’s bound to be good, right?  Although I think the cover is hideous {am I the only one?} I found this book to be very helpful.  It is very informative and mixes light humor throughout.  This book is very easy to read.

Mayo Clinic Pregnancy Book

  • Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy This is a well organized wealth of information.  It’s not as conversational as some and I liked that.  It was straight to the point, comforting, and informative without making me feel terrible for all the things that I wasn’t doing correctly.  My favorite section was the long list of common concerns women have during pregnancy.  They are categorized into “call immediately, call tomorrow, or wait until next visit”.  This is a book I would recommend to everyone who’s pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant!

Your Pregnancy Week by Week

  • Your Pregnancy Week by Week This is my favorite book!  A doctor friend of mine recommended it to me after reading it I was so glad that she did. As stated on page 41, “One purpose of this book is to help you see how your actions and activities affect your health and well-being and that of your growing baby.”  It gives week by week information on the baby’s size {with pictures!}, an exercise to do {with pictures!}, nutritional information, and even a tip for Dad to do something for the new mom and baby.  Scattered throughout the book are things to watch for such as depression in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, and pre-clampsia.  Some have said that this book induced fear but for me it gave me confidence that everything was okay.  I knew that I was doing everything possible to avoid complications and if something strange were to happen I would know what problem it was and talk to my doctor about it right away.  It gives information on foods to eat, the most popular birthing methods, what’s in the delivery room, what to pack, and what to expect in the days, weeks, months, and even one year after labor.  If I could afford it I would buy this book for every single pregnant woman I know {which at the time is 12 I think}!

The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy

  • The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy While this is not one of my favorite books I feel like I should include it because I know so many people who have read it and enjoyed it.  To me this book is long on girl-talk and short on information.  It’s my opinion that the book is negative and in some places even offensive.  The author makes some assumptions that I wasn’t comfortable with, for instance she encourages women not to exercise vigorously during pregnancy because if something happened to the baby they would blame themselves.  Also, she suggested that if you don’t have sex with your husband during pregnancy that he would get tired of waiting and cheat on you.  While the book did make me laugh at points I was left feeling kind of depressed after reading it.  I think a light-hearted, non-scientific, “tell it like it is” pregnancy book is completely fine but this one wasn’t for me.

It’s true that there is a lot of information online for moms-to-be these days but I still like to hold an old fashioned book in my hand and a highlighter in the other.  If you decide to forego the paperback books, there are Kindle editions of all the books I listed above.

What about you?  What books did you find helpful during pregnancy?