Tag Archives: summer

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books I’m Excited to Read This Summer

17171077834_09debe83c4_zI’ve been a total bibliophile lately, or what some might call a bibliomaniac. Thanks to The Amusing Muse for crowning me with that literary title! Ever since, I’ve been singing “I’m a maniac, maaaaniac on the floor! And I’m reading books like never before!” 

Today is another round of Top Ten Tuesday, the weekly themed book list hosted by the peeps over at The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme is a freebie, so I’m creating my list of must reads for the summer.

I’ve read 7 out of 10 books on my spring ‘to be read’ list which isn’t bad in less than 3 months time. My favorite thus far has to be Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova. Fans of magical realism and mythology will love this one. I’m also super excited to let you all know that Krassi will be joining us on The Happiness Project in the near future, so stay tuned! She’s amazing! And I saw her doppelganger the other day outside a coffee shop and almost chased her down. (I didn’t. But only because a friend stopped me.) I’m very pleased to welcome the real Krassi Zourkova here soon.

I’m halfway through my To Be Read Pile Challenge hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader. I need to write two updates yet though. Oops. How are you all doing on your must read lists?

Time to get reading!

Top 10 Books I’m Excited to Read This Summer

1. Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress: Tales of Growing Up Groovy and Clueless by Susan Jane Gilman

I’m back on my humorous memoir kick. I’m devouring any women writers I can find and I picked this one up recently at an indie bookstore. Can’t beat “a funny and poignant collection of true stories about women coming of age that for once isn’t about finding a date.”

2. Dietland by Sarai Walker

The feminist in me can’t wait to pick up a copy of Dietland. The premise is a young woman dealing with body shame who gets entwined with a radical female group called the “Jennifers” that terrorizes mainstream society and its social constructs for women. Yes please, I need to know more.

3. Listen to Your Mother by Ann Imig

A collection of essays based off the critically acclaimed stage performances, Listen to Your Mother encompasses tales of all aspects of motherhood. I can’t wait to read the ups and downs and learning lessons inside as well as support several friends who have participated on stage!

4. I Don’t Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I’ve Dated by Julie Klausner

I can’t help it. I married a musician. This title makes me laugh.

(Note* I DO in fact care about my husband’s band, but I don’t get to as many shows as he’d like, so no doubt he thinks this is true.) 

5. Looking for Alaska by John Green

I’ve started reading this one and fans of Catcher in the Rye and Rule of the Bone will like it. Miles “Pudge” Halter is off to boarding school. He meets the illusive and mesmerizing Alaska Young and becomes entranced. His life is about to change.

6. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This title is on everyone’s ‘to read’ list, and I’m joining the bandwagon. Set in the Great Lakes region, Station Eleven is the tale of a misfit troupe of actors traveling the countryside and performing in ramshackle towns. Disease has wiped out much of the population, and many are living a nomadic life. How does art survive here?

7. Listen to the Squawking Chicken: When Mother Knows Best, What’s a Daughter To Do? A Memoir (Sort Of) by Elaine Lui

You gotta love a mother who starts the conversation with “Where’s my money?” Based on parts of her blog, Elaine Lui elaborates on her mother-daughter relationship with her mom, known as “The Squawking Chicken.”

8. Don’t Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kids by Leanne Shirtliffe

Author and blogger of Ironic Mom, I’ve had Leanne’s book on my to read pile for awhile. I also purchased her children’s book, The Change Your Name Store, for my niece this year. It is delightful and I can’t wait to dive into her memoir about her time raising twins as an expat and more!

9. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

As a fan of Bossypants by Tina Fey, I needed to pick up her partner in crime’s equally hilarious book. From her early school days of playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz to how she upped her improv game, Amy dishes it out and talks about her new motto, “Yes, please!”

10. Is My Crazy Showing? by Leigh Baker

Surviving a mental breakdown and stint in a hospital, Leigh Baker shares the tumultuous journey of finding one’s way and creating your own family. Shout out to Beth Teliho for recommending this one to me!

What’s on your summer must read list? I’m always willing to make it a Top Twenty! 😉

52 Things to Do This Summer

Last year I made a list of 51 Things to Do Before Summer’s Over. This year I thought, “Why wait?” Let’s get started on the fun when summer is just beginning!

52 Things to Do This Summer

1. Drink lots of Lemonade.

2. Plant flowers.

BegoniaI just got this begonia. Love her!

3. Sit in the grass. Have a picnic.

4. Clean out your closet. Donate what you don’t wear anymore.

5. Go for a bike ride.

6. Find a Little Free Library near you.

Little Free Library7. Visit your local Public Libary.

8. Make pudgy pies over the fire.

9. Host a movie Musical marathon of summer sing-a-longs: Mamma Mia, West Side Story, State Fair, Oklahoma…

10. Visit a cafe’ you’ve never been to before. Bring a friend!

cafe11. Go to a farmer’s market.

12. Lounge with a loved one.

lounging13. Braid your hair.

14. Seek summer scents – freshly mowed grass, fresh-picked herbs, going for a swim, grilling out.

15. Take a tour of a nearby brewery. Enjoy a pint!

beer16. Host a tasting of your favorite beers, wines, or liquors.

17. Try paddle boarding.

18. Take a road trip.

Bloedow's19. Wear flip flops.

20. Go stargazing.

21. Take a tour of someplace right in your hometown.

22. Start a journal. Or read an old one.

Journals23. Eat dinner al fresco.

24. Attend an outdoor concert.

25. Walk places rather than drive whenever possible.

Go for a walk26. Eat an ice cream cone.

27. Doodle.

28. Read a book.

Read a Book29. Make fun ice cubes – different shapes or colors.

30. Draw with sidewalk chalk.

Sidewalk Chalk31. Run around barefoot.

32. Let your hair air dry.

33. Practice taking the perfect peaceful selfie.

Selfie34. Pet sit for someone.

35. Paint a room in your house. Make it bold.

36. Read the latest issue of BookPage. Cover to cover.

read the paper37. And while you’re at it, add to or start a Goodreads account to keep track of all the books you’re going to read.

38. Make salsa with veggies from the garden or market.

39. Create a new smoothie.

Smoothie40. Build a sandcastle.

41. Play frisbee in the park.

42. Launch fireworks.

43. Go antiquing or hit up a rummage sale.

antiquing44. Take a ride in a hot air balloon.

45. Buy a handmade piece of jewelry from a vendor at a carnival.

46. Find a new piece of lawn art.

Marvin

His name is Marvin. He lives here now.

47. Switch to iced coffee.

48. Celebrate the unique summer holidays.

June 1st – Dare Day

June 4th – Hug Your Cat Day

June 6th – National Doughnut Day

June 14th – World Juggler’s Day

June 18th – Go Fishing Day

June 19th – World Sauntering Day

June 22nd – National Eclair Day

June 25th – Log Cabin Day

June 27th – Sunglasses Day

June 28th – Paul Bunyan Day

June 29th – Hug Holiday

49. Stop and smell the roses.

Roses50. Bird Watch.

51. Attend BlogHer’14.

52. Reflect. And appreciate the little things.

Reflect*****

What’s on your summer to do list?

*All photos are from my Instagram page. For more fun ideas of what to do this summer, follow me on Instagram! I always check out the pages of new followers. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

On the Road Again…

Road Trip

Hello Mates,

I know it seems like I just got back from my travels. Or have you forgotten this?

Boston Harbor

Ah yes, the vacation with my parents. What a treasure that was!

But I have other plans this time. Joe and I are off on our own adventure for 2 weeks! So you might say I’m taking a “Blogcation”.

We’re roadtripping east this year and you can catch my edition of “Where in the world is Jess Witkins’s Happiness Project?” by following me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook where I promise to post pictures from the trip!

Until then, please keep yourselves occupied by crossing off some of my summer fun suggestions in 51 Things to Do Before Summer’s Over and entering to win a FREE book From My Shelf To Yours.

See you later, alligators!

-Jess

51 Things to Do Before Summer’s Over

Are you like me and shocked that summer is halfway over? Where did all the sun go? One moment it was still long pants and sweatshirts, and then we were in insta-heatwave! I went from months of unemployment to jumping into a full time executive job! Since I’m back to my precious 2 days off a week, I’ve compiled a “To Do” list of fun summer activities!

Care to join me?

51 Things To Do Before Summer’s Over

1. Sleep In – Be a bum.

2. Find a new TV show.

There’s not a lot of worthwhile shows on TV now, but you can learn what is out there by reading Tiffany A. White’s blog. Use the downtime to check out a new TV series you’ve been meaning to watch and haven’t. I rent all mine from the Public Library, but their available to rent or stream for free on many online sites as well. Some of my favorite shows ever: Dexter, Six Feet Under, True Blood, Desperate Housewives, The Vampire Diaries, The United States of Tara, Ugly Betty, Big Love, The L Word, and Weeds. What am I watching this summer? Tiffany and Julie Glover just got this girl addicted to Pretty Little Liars.

3. Hit the beach. (Or river, lake, pond near you)

100_12644. Watch it rain, or better yet, thunderstorm.

5. Make a summer music playlist comprised of tunes that remind you of picnics, vacations, and driving with the windows down.

6. Get crafty.

Piper Bayard made her own Grumpy Cat for a blog giveaway. Read all about it here!

Photo by Piper Bayard

7. Write a letter to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile.

8. Drink ice tea.

9. Take a mini road trip. Try a restaurant out of town or go to one of those places you pass by on billboards all the time.

100_224810. Grill out.

11. Have a water balloon fight.

12. Go hiking. Find a view.

Jess on Bluff13. Create your signature smoothie.

14. Go out for ice cream at a sweet shoppe.

15. Cut your hair short (or try a new ‘do).

16. Laze away in a hammock.

17. Take a class you’ve always wanted to. Yoga? Salsa dancing? Zumba?

18. Catch up on summer reading.

Writer/blogger Patricia Sands is partnering up with some amazing writers to offer their books for FREE now thru August 15th! Check out the available titles and stock up here!

Want to win a FREE paperback from my shelf to yours? Check out my book giveaway HERE!

19. Throw a theme party. See some of my faves below.

  • Make your own hat
  • The Beatles – Dress as a band member or song lyric
  • 80’s Night
  • Non-Traditional Student Prom

20. Go camping.

DSCF074221. Read a ghost story. At night. Outside.

22. Complain about the weather.

My comedian friend, Todd Youngman, shared this video with me and I’m still laughing! For more laughs, check out his facebook page! He’s really good at silly comments and photoshop. Once found a picture of him riding a unicorn! Are you jelly? (that’s slang for jealous)

23. Look at the stars.

24. Concerts in the park.

25. Celebrate the weird National Holidays.

  • August 1st: National Friendship Day & National Raspberry Cream Pie Day
  • August 6th: National Wiggle Your Toes Day
  • August 8th: National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night
  • August 13th: National Blame Someone Else Day
  • August 17th: National Thrift Shop Day
  • August 19th: National Potato Day
  • August 25th: National Kiss and Make up Day
  • August 30th: National Toasted Marshmallow Day

26. Attend a baseball game.

27. Have a clothes swap. Or donate your clothes to charity.

28. Start a secret society. (The first rule about secret societies is you don’t talk about secret societies.)

29. Journal

skywriting

30. Go to the library.

31. Write a novel.  😉

32. Play a board game.

33. Wear sunscreen.

34. Sing a song. Or write one!

35. Do something with those photos stockpiled on your camera. Buy a collage frame or album and show them off!

36. Meet Peachez. She’s a celebrity! She has more followers than I do.

37. Give yourself a mantra. Tell yourself you’re beautiful at least once a day.

38. Showcase some zany lawn art.

100_213239. Learn a new language.

40. Have an adventure. Bring your camera.

41. Host a sleepover. Make pizza. Stay up late.

43. Stay cool indoors by watching YouTube videos that make you laugh.

44. Meditate.

45. Quote movie lines.

46. Take a bath or long shower.

47. Jump on a trampoline. Hoolahoop. Booga Booga.

48. Host your own American Gladiators Tournament.

49. Take a walking tour. Check your library or historical society for local tours.

50. Go bowling.

51. Go to a midnight movie premier.

What other fun ideas do you want to do this summer?

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