dimly lit books shelves with a circular overlay that reads 2019 book review

Books on Books on Books

Have you read the book about hands? It’s a real page turner.

I’ve finally achieved a reading/listening goal! 🎉 In 2017, my New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was to complete at least 12 books. By the time December 2018 rolled around, I had only completed eight books, but I was determined to do better in 2019.

For 2019, the goal was to read or listen to 13 books, and I did that, with a few days to spare, which means I have time to squeeze in one more!

pages of a book folded together to create a hearth
Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

Of the books I read this year, my top three recommendations are, “We’re Going to Need More Wine” by Gabrielle Union, “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, and “Free Cyntoia” by Cyntoia Brown-Long. I’m partial to memoirs and autobiographies if you couldn’t tell! 😝I also feel the need to mention that I started, stopped, and restarted 1984, but only managed to get halfway through. I’m not sure if it was because I already knew the outcome or because there were many parts of the book that seemed to lacked value or storyline progression. Either way, I didn’t finish it in high nor did I finish it in 2019. Maybe in 2020? 

In order from the greatest emotional impact to the least, I present to you my 2019 reading review!

  1. We’re Going to Need More Wine x Gabrielle Union (audio)
    • I listed this as numero uno because it felt “right on time.” Gabrielle Union spoke about the realities of following your dreams, being Black in America, and raising Black sons.
  2. Born a Crime x Trevor Noah (hybrid read)
    • This is my number two choice because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN, literally. I read it in 25 hours. I STAN Trevor Noah, so maybe I’m a little biased; however, listening to his stories allowed me to connect with him that much more. I HIGHLY recommend listening to the audio of Born a Crime because simply reading the physical copy doesn’t do it justice.
  3. Free Cyntoia x Cyntoia Brown-Long (audio)
    • “Free Cyntoia” secured the spot at number three because it was the ultimate redemption story! From the beginning, the odds were stacked against her, but Mrs. Brown-Long overcame every obstacle put in her way. ANNNNDDD it’s lowkey a love story. ❤️
  4. Black Privilege x Charlamagne tha God (audio)
    • This book would be a really great gift for any entrepreneur.
  5. Hey Lil’ Black Girl… It’s Your World x Fredrecka McGlown (physical)
    • Perfect of any millennial Black woman.
  6. Little Fires Everywhere x Celeste Ng (hybrid)
    • The ending. Whew!
  7. Where’d You Go Bernadette x Maria Semple (hybrid)
    • Any and all SAHM can relate perfectly with this one!
  8. Animal Farm x George Orwell (hybrid)
    • I read this one in high school, but I wondered if my perspective would have changed. The only thing that changed is the fact that Animal Farm is more accurate than ever!
  9. The Hate U Give x Angie Thomas (hybrid)
    • I really enjoyed this one, but reading about Black men and boys being gunned down is EXHAUSTING!
  10. If Beale Street Could Talk x James Baldwin (audio)
    • See number nine, but this time instead of being killed, he was falsely accused and imprisoned.
  11. Girl, Wash Your Face x Rachel Hollis (audio)
    • I enjoyed reading this, about as much as I enjoyed my number 12 read. My biggest issue with this self-help book was the privileged perspective through which the guide was written. That’s all I’ll say on the topic…
  12. Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck x Mark Manson (audio)
    • If I’m being honest, I only read this one because of all of the hype surrounding it. I’m sure it was helpful for some readers, but if you already have a f*ck it attitude, then this was a redundant read.
  13. Crazy Rich Asians x Kevin Kwan (hybrid)
    • I really enjoyed this story and it was nice to be dropped into the life of the rich and well-connected every time I picked up this book. It landed at number 13 simply because it didn’t move me like the other titles. I’d still 8/10 recommend.

What was your favorite book of 2019? What moved you or changed your way of thinking? Let me know!

Love,

Jae Mommma

 

candid shot of a toddler boy fidgeting with a rock

An Open Letter to My Son

For a while, I have been wanting to publish an open letter to my son, but the timing never seemed right, until now. Here’s an excerpt from An Open Letter to My Son.

“…Dear Poppy, my most wonderful and treasured gift,

Just a few days ago, your father asked me to explain how I feel about you but wasn’t easy. Not because I am unsure of how I feel, but the fullness of a miracle cannot be adequately explained, only experienced. There aren’t enough words, phrases, expressions, or languages in the entire world to truly explain how I feel about you or to summarize in a few moments the love I have for you. It will take a lifetime just to give you a peek into my love for you, but I will do my best to try here and now.

The week before I found out that I was pregnant with you, I told your dad that I felt like something was missing from my life. He asked what that “it” was, but I couldn’t tell him because I wasn’t certain. A few days later, I received my answer. It was you, Son. My life was nearly perfect, but it was missing you. Now, I feel complete.

Watching you grow each and every day has been the greatest joy of my life. You are smart, funny, intelligent, inquisitive, curious, loving, and so much more. I could not have been blessed with a more perfect son. When I look at you, I see the future. I see hope and all that is good in the world. You have a light about you that will only grow brighter. Don’t ever let anything or anyone dim your light, including me.

Poppy, it is my prayer that the world gives you all of the desires of your heart. I pray that life treats you fairly, people treat you kindly, and I hope that your father and I raise you to return that same energy to the world. The journey that is life will not always be easy, but I promise to be here to support you and love you, unconditionally, as long as there are breath and life in my body.

Son, you are prayers in the flesh, hopes and dreams manifested. You are everything that I have ever wanted and needed in a child. I thank God for you every single day for blessing me with the honor and duty of being your mother. These words here are only able to illustrate but a minuscule, a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of my love and gratitude for you.

Son, my Poppy, I love you more than you’ll ever, ever know.

Love,

The One With the Boobies and the Milkies.

How to Create a Montessori Nursery

As I was scrolling down my Facebook feed, as I so often do, a series of pictures caught my eye. And to make matters 1,000 times better, the pictures were baby themed (not exactly helping my baby fever!). Cassidy, a former co-worker and friend, shared with us photos of her Montessori-inspired nursery.

I was familiar with the Montessori teachings and I was 100% up to speed to nurseries, but I wasn’t entirely sure how a nursery could be “Montessori”, so to speak. So, I got to Googling. In short, a true Montessori nursery is a baby’s room that is set up with child-safe and child-centric furniture and decorations. Everything in the room should be safe and accessible to the child. This encourages autonomy and fosters a child’s natural love of learning and curiosity.

– – – – –

Below are some pictures of Cassidy’s super cute, Montessori-inspired nursery!

montessori nurseryIMG_2471montessori nurseryIMG_2469montessori nurseryIMG_2467It was Dr. Montessri’s belief that children can and will teach themselves if given the opportunity. To foster learning, creativity, and independence, children should be free to move about in a “prepared environment”, in which the children freely choose from a number of developmentally appropriate activities. That being said, you can turn any space in your home into a Montessori space!

This approach can take some time and dedication to implement, but with lots of creativity, a few Google searches, and lots of patience, you too can create a Montessori-inspired nursery for your little one! Just remember, no amount of baby-proofing can substitute a responsible, attentive care provider!

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If you liked what you saw, buy it for yourself!

 

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. When you support this small business, you support me being able to stay home with my son as long as possible. You support me living out my dreams of kicking my 9-5 and being able to work for myself and obtain financial freedom!

Thank you in advance! Love, Jae Mommma

My Body, My Choice!!

When I found out that I was pregnant, I made a promise to myself, my husband, and my unborn that I would do whatever necessary to protect his (or her, but I knew I was having a boy. That’s another story for another post) body autonomy, within reason. So I guess you could say that this design was inspired by my pro-choice, body-positive, laissez-faire, Montessori parenting style. Nothing bothers me more than when someone tries to make my son hug or kiss them without asking. Now, people will hopefully get the message without me saying anything!

 

When you support this small business, you support me being able to stay home with my son as long as possible. You support me living out my dreams of kicking my 9-5 and being able to work for myself and obtain financial freedom!

Thank you in advance! Love, Jae Mommmma

Creative Uses for Everyday Items

Parenthood is all about ingenuity and creative problem-solving. I can’t recall how many times I’ve had to use a product outside of its intended purpose to avoid a crisis. This post is all about that! I want to share some common household items and their unconventional uses.

  1. BPA-free Silicone Straws = Teethers

The first items are BPA-free silicone straws! Not only are they an excellent, eco-friendly alternative to plastic straws, 🌍♻️ they’ve been LIFESAVERS for our teething son!! These straws come with cute, little carrying cases, perfect for packing in the diaper bag and a straw brush to ensure a deep clean.

Be sure to click the image or click this link (https://amzn.to/2NVZvI0) to purchase!

2. Apple Watch = Baby Monitor

For the next item, I present an #AppleWatch⌚️Not only is it great for counting your steps, monitoring your heart rate ♥️, or sending emojis, it also makes for a perfect, makeshift baby monitor, when used with an iPhone. 📱

To set up your makeshift monitor:
1. Prop up your iPhone so it’s facing your baby
2. Open the camera app on the Apple Watch
3. Makeshift baby monitor!

Use this link to purchase a Series 3 Apple Watch (https://amzn.to/2N7rPrf) or a Series 4 (https://amzn.to/34EEgjF).

 

3. Shoe Rack = Bookshelf

I am sooo thankful for Poppy’s ever-growing book collection, 📚 but we quickly ran out of space to store them all!! What a great problem to have! Thankfully, an old shoe rack (or if you’re like me, a shoe rack with way too many shoes) makes for the perfect bookshelf! This one is bamboo, stackable, and only $26! Purchase yours by clicking the picture or using the link here: https://amzn.to/2Qfj4xQ

Check back often for more great finds.

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission from each purchase at no additional cost to you. I don’t receive ANY of your personal information and all transactions are conducted through Amazon.com.

How to Clean Your Couch! [Video]

Hey everybody! Welcome and welcome back to my channel. I am going to show you a little bit of my couch cleaning routine in today’s video. I used baking soda and essential oil to keep the couch smelling clean. I also used a DIY room freshener after I finished vacuuming for lasting couch freshness. For more videos, give this a “like” and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE and HIT THAT BELL ❤️🔔

SUBSCRIBE HERE♥️: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7lwjum0Vk3b-5DfMUxGE1Q?sub_confirmation=1
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YOU’LL LOVE THESE TOO:
Bathroom Extreme Clean: https://youtu.be/8eN75iZxl7k
Living Room Clean: https://youtu.be/1r74XihzO2o
Deep Kitchen Clean: https://youtu.be/AZzXDyXncdk
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