International Girls Day - 10 books I want my daughter to read

I have a 3 year old daughter.  She is adorable, funny, stubborn, smart, and silly.  I don't want her to ever think that she CAN'T do something simply because she is a girl.  And as a Library Lady, I'm going to make sure that she (and her big brother) have great books with great heroines to read.  
For International Girls Day, here are 10 books I want to make sure she gets to read:  
Malal Yousafzai is a role model I definitely want my kids to learn about,  While her memoir is a little advanced for them, this picture book is a great introduction to who she is, what she stands for, and why it matters.  

This book gives lots of examples of women role models.  I love the idea that she can be exposed to lots of different women in one page summaries!

"She Persisted" has become a phrase synonymous with strong women, and I want both my daughter and my son to know that it is okay to persist when you believe in something!

I actually have this book in my library, and I lov…

Here's how not to be a hot mess

Well, maybe not a definitive guide, but these 10 tips have helped me feel more organized and "together" in my life!

Make bed - This one is easy.  It makes you feel like you have started your day off with an accomplishment, and every time you go into your room, it will make you feel good to see the bed made.  Don't believe me?  Try it!Pick out clothes the night before - I do this for myself and my children.  It makes the morning so much easier - everything is ironed (haha - just kidding, who irons?!?), laid out, and ready to put on.  Nothing is missing in the morning and there are no emergencies.Prepare coffee the night before - Want to feel like a hero in the morning?  Prepare your coffee in the coffeemaker the night before and just push the button in the morning.  Or get a fancy-pants coffee maker that you can schedule to start 5 minutes before you get up! Get up before your kids - This one is not easy - and while I am able to accomplish it during the week, I have not …

Thankfulness from A-Z

Over on our facebook page, we have started a 21 day Gratitude Challenge, and today's challenge was a fun one - list what you are thankful for from A-Z.  I enjoyed this task - it reminded me of playing Scattergories, which was one of my favorite games growing up.  (My aunt and I played it before it was a real game - I'm pretty sure she came up with the concept before the Parker Brothers!)

So I posted my actual list on instagram, but I thought I would elaborate a bit on it here.

A - I am thankful for adventures.  While I don't consider myself to be an adventurous person, I enjoy going new places and doing new things.

B - As a Library Lady, I am thankful for books!  That is a given.  Especially young adult books!  I am also thankful for blue skies and bacon (but it must be crispy!)

C - I am thankful for my children - CastiƩl and Camila, for my husband, Carlos, and also chocolate and coffee!!

D - This one was easy.  I'm thankful for Disney - for the fun times we have there…

Organizing your life with Google

Confession: I am a digital hoarder. I have files saved EVERYWHERE with no rhyme or reason! This is definitely something I am working on. I know what I SHOULD do, but this is a time consuming task if your digital life is a hot mess like mine is!!!  

I am SLOWLY but surely organizing my life with Google apps.  For those with Android devices, this is done for you automatically; however, as an iPhone user, I like Google for several reasons:  
1) It's free, 2) It's accessible on all my computers (PC and Mac) as well as my phone (even though it's an iPhone), and 3) It's user friendly. 

So, what Google apps do I use to organize my life?  

Google Calendar

While I also use a paper planner (I have to have the pen/paper), our family depends on the Google calendar to keep us all in sync.  If I tell my husband (an staunch Android user) about an appointment his first question is always "Is it on Google calendar?"  This keeps us both on track and keeps us from overbooking our fa…

Road Trip Tips

I LOVE to travel!  However, for most of my life, the fun was all about the destination!  In the past 10 years or so, I have learned (thanks to my much more laid-back hubby!) to truly enjoy the journey!  So now, traveling is not only about the destination, but about the entire trip from beginning to end!  
At this point in our lives, our main mode of travel is by car - we have 2 small kids and we haven't braved the airport with them, so for us it is all about the road trip!!!  
We take trips several times a year and so, while I am no expert, here are my 8 Road Trip tips!   Clean out your car before you pack it. Get all of the snack crumbs out of the seats so you have room for new snack crumbs!  :)  Related to #1, pack snacks!  You don't want to be completely dependent on restaurants or convenience stores for eating, as they might not show up when you are hungry!  Especially if you have kids, snacks = silence!  Pack the snacks you normally eat, along with a few treats from the &…

Wake up and Smell the Coffee!

It's National Coffee Day, so to celebrate (in addition to drinking the deliciousness that is coffee), I thought I'd share some quotes about this nectar of the gods. Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it's hard to go back to sleep.                 Fran DrescherI have measured out my life with coffee spoons.  T.S. EliotWe want to do a lot of stuff; we're not in great shape. We didn't get a good night's sleep. We're a little depressed. Coffee solves all these problems in one delightful little cup. Jerry SeinfeldNever trust anyone who doesn't drink coffee.  AJ LeeAs long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be? Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

Are we Snapchatting our self-esteem down the drain?

So unless you live under a rock, you know what Snapchat is.  A social media platform for the younger set, it is a selfie-based app that allows you to send pictures or videos of yourself with added text to your friends, or add them to your "Story" which is visible for 24 hours.

The thing that makes Snapchat different from other apps is the filters.  The dog filter by far is the most popular, although I'm not completely sure why.  (At 38 years old, I am not in Snapchat's target demographic!)

At first I downloaded Snapchat just for my kids to play with the filters - they love them!  But then I decided that maybe I would try to figure out this platform. It does have a certain appeal.  You can instantly chat with people in a visual format and convey what you are doing in a very real-time, real-life way.

However, the more I played around with the app, the more I realized that I didn't want to send a pic without one of the filters.  Why didn't I want to send my &…