Second Chance Summer review

 

Second Chance Summer. Hugging for life. Gosh. I was blinking back tears hoping my eyeballs 👀 would eventually dry out. Otherwise, I was going to need a part-time job at a tissue factory aka Kleenex 😭. After five years away, Taylor and her family head back to their summer lake house 🏡, where she has to face the pain of what she left behind and the devastation to come. I can absolutely see how others can identify with Taylor. She must be a 9… conflict arises and she ghosts 🏃🏼‍♀️. And her friend, turned boyfriend, turned ex-bf, turned ex-friend, turned friend again, turned bf again (confused much?), Henry… swoon.  🥰 yes, swoon, even through all the dramz. I cherished her sweet relationship with her dad. Their fondness of puns got me good. With that being said, I just burned two thousand calories. That’s the last time I leave 🍪 cookies 🍪 in the oven while I multitask. Bah-duh-tsssss (joke punch line sound)! 😬…. crickets…. yeah. clap👏🏼 it👏🏼 up 👏🏼 for Morgan Matson 👏🏼 A heart-rending 💔 but beautiful story about redemption, love, trust, courage, and of course… second chances.

 

 

The summer I turned pretty trilogy review

 


THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY
 

 “Best friends are important. They’re the closest thing to a sister you’ll ever have”. 

This series is magic!! Jenny is amazing at captivating readers. She’s a gifted writer! I cannot fathom how she can tell a story that evokes so much emotion. Major Nostalgic summer vibes! ☀️🌊 I’m hooked! Connie 🥰 I love his brooding James Dean routine… wink 😉 . But the sharing a soda complete with twizzler straws circa 1950s Coke commercial and all Jeremiah’s cuteness. Sigh. This was a great love triangle.. or square? Get outta here Cam Cameron. Cannot wait to read the rest! I have anxiety (the good kind- does that make sense?) I’m ready for summer 🌊☀️

IT’S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU

“I laughed and said, “that’s because you’re coldhearted”. He put my hands in his coat pockets and said in a voice so soft I wondered if I heard him right, “For everyone else, maybe. But not for you”.” 

Writing spoiler free is tough! Don’t read any synopsis’ or reviews. Best to read this with the unknown. Also best to read at the same time as your best friend (hi, Carissa) that way you can freak out together. SO much has changed between the Conklin and Fisher families. But one thing remains… for me at least…🎶 We love you Conrad. Oh, yes we do 🎶 hashtag team Connie!!! Even though everything is a mess. And like, where’s Con? 😭 where you at, bro? Jeremiah and Belly team up to find MIA Conrad. The way these books begin and end will leave you BREATHLESS. Gasping 👏🏼 for 👏🏼 air 👏🏼 whew! My stomach is full of 🦋 doing all kinds of ✨ belly ✨flops 😉. The love triangle continues. Is this the last summer with the summer boys crew? Then it needs to end the way it started- at Cousins beach.

WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER

 “We were just two teenagers, looking up at the sky on a cold February night. So no, he didn’t give me flowers or candy. He gave me the moon and the stars. Infinity.” 

Ok. This series needs/deserves ✨WAY ✨more ✨hype. Dare I say it.. I liked it more than TATBILB 🙈😬 I adore both trilogies but this one utterly mesmerized me. The love triangle continues!! And since you KNOW this is the final book… you KNOW the end is coming😭. Wallowing over here. So who does Belly end up with? Jeremiah, the too busy having fun sweet as pie, heart of gold boy🥰? Or Conrad, the dark, dark, dark, unavailable, unattainable, smirky mouth boy🥰? You MUST read to find out! Ps. Lots of flash backs in these novels.. beginning from age nine and ends with Belly at almost twenty-four.

Tell me three things review


If you like you’ve got mail
🙋🏼‍♀️ you’ll LOVE tell me three things. It’s the high school version of Kathleen Kelly and Joe Fox. F-O-X. Heads up on some possible triggers: 733 days after Jessie’s mom passed away, her dad up and moves them to LA to be with his new wife (stranger). It was an insta-love, too fast elopement💑. Jessie started her first week of fancy, expensive high school and it’s shaping into a terrible-horrible-no good-very bad 🙈experience. But she receives an anonymous e-mail 📧 from Somebody Nobody (SN). Jessie has no clue who this bizarre alias could be 🤔. I mean she’s new in school. Doesn’t know a single soul. Well, Miss Jessie Holmes definitely flies her nerd flag high, so you best believe she’s going to Sherlock 🕵🏼‍♀️ this situation to figure out 🧐who SN is. TMTT is near and dear to Julie Buxbaum’s ❤️. She identifies with Jessie as she lost her own mom when she was 14. TMTT is a story about the loneliness of first loss and the beauty of first love. Giddy! And you’ll hyper speed read it because you desperately want to find out who SN is. Like deeeesperately. 5/5 recommend!

Tweet cute review


Tweet Cute.
📱First, Emma Lord, where can I get the recipe for Monster Cake?  And Rainy Day Pudding? And A Plus Angel Cake? Pepper is quite the baker. 😋 Her kitchen may look like the Keebler elves threw a rave in it but the result is absurd deliciousness! The main character, Pepper…. or Pepperoni (thanks, Jack), is the Big League Burger 🍔 princess. Her family owns the massive fast-food chain. She’s eager beaver overachiever and secretly running BLB’s twitter account. Enter, Jack’s 🥰 His family owns Girl Cheesing, the ma’ and pop deli with the yummiest, iconic grilled cheese. That BLB ends up copying and putting on THEIR menu 😱 In the words of Stephanie Tanner… HOW RUDE. So, what do you do when someone does something shady? Tweet about, naturally. Well, these two restaurants end up in an all out, viral, twitter war, complete with snarky memes and retweet battles. BUT who is the mastermind BEHIND these tweets? You’ve Got Mail vibes here, people!! I ship you Pepperjack 🧀. I think you look Gouda together 😉. This one is insufferably cute! I Brie-lieve you will adore this read. Gruyere-nteed LOL moments. 🤣 did I take that one too far? 😝

beach read review

“…sometimes it’s okay to let a little ugliness into your story. That it would never rob you of all the beauty.” 

☀️🌊 I feel like I need to start out with WHY I like to read contemporary romance. It’s v much like the goal of January’s women’s fiction novels. She aims to make readers feel known and understood. Like their stories matter. Here’s where I felt known: January’s BFF snort laughs. Sometimes I snort laugh. January explains 🐽😂 it like “she’s drowning in life. In a good way. Like it’s rushing up her nose, you know?” Yes, January. I knooooow 🙋🏼‍♀️. Contemporary romance makes the world look different, gives the ugly stuff meaning, and amplifies the good, even even if the world doesn’t doesn’t always look like how it does in books. Gus said that about January’s writing. AND who doesn’t believe in love? Okay, so what’s Beach Read about? January Andrews (fairy princess or crotchety grandmother, who’s to say? 🤣🤷🏼‍♀️) writes best selling romance. Augustus (I’ve nicknamed him Gus-Gus 🐭) Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. Both are suffering from writers block. Insert the bet: Gus has to write an HEA 🥰 and January will pen the next great American novel. Life has thrown her some ups and down. Most recently some downs. Her father passed away and left her with a beach house (papa Andrew’s mysterious love shack) that happens to neighbor Gus Gus, who is FULL of secrets. Anyway, they go on adventures in romance (rom-com 101 via Meg Ryan Movie night) and research excursions (lit fic field trips to the scene of a death cult, obvi). Romance hero boot camp aside, this book was funny and authentic. I adored the notes the pair wrote through the window (think Taylor Swift music video). The banter and snark elicited cackling and laugh-cries🤣👌🏼. Also, I felt like I gleaned bits of wisdom from January’s journey: “People were complicated. They were collections of feelings and decisions. The world was complicated too. A disastrous, horrible mess speckled with brilliance and love and meaning.” Isn’t that the TRUTH! Everyone should read a good rom-com. LIKE THIS ONE!🥰

🎶  “It’s June in January, because I’m in love.” 🎶

january reads

January AKA The longest month ever. Right? I plowed through TEN books last month. Whooping it up for myself. My faves were Kingdom of Ash by SJM (YA fantasy queen) and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. Peep all my reads! None of which are pictured here… I just really like this photo. And Colleen Hoover (contemporary romance queen).

  1. Winter Storms
  2. Winter Solstice
  3. Tower of Dawn
  4. A Heart so Fierce and Broken
  5. Kingdom of Ash
  6. The Unhoneymooners
  7. Six of Crows
  8. Crooked Kingdom
  9. Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
  10. The Matchmarker

Some unsolicited tips on how to read good. Wink face. Isn’t that from Zoolander? Ponder emoji? Center for kids who can’t read good? Anyway, tips on how to read more. I’m often asked, “how do you read so much”? Because as a mom time is…limited. Slim. Basically nonexistent. I make it a habit! Place your book right where you’ll be reading it (next to the couch or next to your bed), remove your phone from your pocket and leave it in the kitchen, read for 10 minutes a day or for 10 pages and slowly increase as your habit establishes, and choose a genre you love! I truly enjoy escaping into a fictional world. There are so many benefits to reading vs. screen time. Hoping these tips help you carve out more time for reading!

Keep following along @katieprouty for more of my monthly reads.

Being a disciple in the digital age

“the average person checks their phone every 12 minutes”- Rick Warren

The hours we spend on screens, unrelated to work, are hours during which we are not doing other things. And it represents a significant chunk in life in which we are not available to people who are physically present in our lives. This message from Pastor Rick really ministered to my heart and I hope we can create change for the younger generation.

THE SPIRITUAL HAZARDS OF DIGITAL TOOLS

(smart phones, iPads, laptops, internet devices, etc.)

  • I can waste precious time.

Life management is time management. Some things aren’t necessarily wrong, its just not necessary.

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Ephesians 5:15-16

  • I can be seduced by the worlds values.

Social media amplifies the worlds voice and we carry it everywhere we go. We are to love the people of the world, dislike the values. Every time you pick up your phone, you’re seduced by the wrong value system. Our phones desensitize us to sin. It is a new source for old temptation.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

  • I can be drawn into unproductive arguments.

You know social media trolls who want to hook you in arguments? Be humble or you’ll stumble!

Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees[a] or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. Titus 3:9

And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. Matthew 12:36

  • I can be tempted to compete and show off.

There’s a new form of sin called social media. We put ourselves in the best light possible, parading it online. I can’t be in a moment while trying to capture a moment!

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. Matthew 6:1

  • I can get addicted to the approval of others.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

  • I can be distracted from what’s most important.

There are millions of things constantly coming at you on your devices. If you’re spending more time on your screen than you are with Jesus, then you are distracted. 5 minutes with Jesus and 3 hours on a screen? Who do you think you’re going to emulate?

But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her. Luke 10:40-42

So, whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

HOW CAN I USE MY SMART PHONE FOR GOD’S GLORY?

(Purpose Driven Technology)

  • Use it to express my worship

Listen to songs and scripture. Use your phone as a worship tool.

All day long I put my hope in you. Psalm 25:5

  • Use it to encourage fellowship

Show affection and generosity by reposting other accomplishments or posts. When you encourage other, God’s going to encourage you.

Love each other with genuine affection,[a] and take delight in honoring each other. Romans 12:10

 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

  • Use it to enhance my spiritual growth

Bible programs, sites, apps, bible studies. Go to a site that will help you grow as a godly woman/man. Be a good stewardship of your money by buying a Christian book. Drive time devotions. Pod casts.

Grow in spiritual strength and become better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

Keep me from looking at useless things. Let me live by your word. Psalm 119:37

  • Use it to expand my ministry.

Think of social media not as a place to show off/talking about self. Serve and encourage and help other people.

What can I give back to God for the blessing his port on me? Psalms 119:12

  • Use it to extend my witness.

Purpose driven technology! You can take the gospel around the world from your bedroom in your pjs. With phones everyone is a publisher of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Through Christ, God has made peace between us and himself, and he gave us the work of telling everyone about the peace we can have with Him… So we have been sent to speak for Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:18,20 

Publish God’s glorious deeds among every nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does. 2 chronicles 16:24

Do you own your phone or does it own you? Are you the servant or the master of your phone?

 

Click Here to watch this inspiring message from Saddleback Church and be encouraged as you learn what the Bible says about God’s purpose for your life.

the age of the screen

“It’s being talked with, not being talked at that teaches children language” – Dr. Hirsh-Pasek

Just a friendly heads up, I understand that this may be a sensitive topic and I have zero judgement regarding screen time as my sense of advocacy results from my own, personal over-use of screen time. It was a blind-spot for me…. a place where I lacked clarity of myself. I’m human, I’m a work in progress. I understand it may seem… strange, that I share screen time information on this platform, but where do people spend their time? My hope is to spread awareness of this epidemic and how it is affecting communication development. My hope is as adults we can change excessive screen time for the next generation….our babies.

The average daily media use for the youth in the US is seven hours and thirty-eight minutes (Westby, 2018). That was me. ME. I was spending a ridiculous amount of time on my phone. Hours wasted. And I don’t consider myself in the “youth” category. Unfortunately, I think this statistic also applies to adults. Don’t get me wrong… screens aren’t bad. There just needs to be some quality control.

Benefits of screens

  • entertainment
  • access to information
  • educational tools
  • economic efficiency
  • AAC/speech generating devices

SCREEN TIME AND COMMUNICATION DEVELOPMENT

Early intervention and preschool (ages 0-5)

What are young children doing on tablets? There is an app for everything! Puzzles, games, videos, music, flashcards, eBooks. Young children use them anywhere they have to wait. Doctor’s office, restaurants, baseball games, stores. They are missing out on social referencing, observing the environment, developing fine motor skills, exposure to pre-literacy, playing, interacting with caregivers.

Even background TV  (technoference) has been shown to delay language acquisition. Schmidt, M.E., et al. (2008) researched the effects of background television and young children. Their study showed less overall play, each play episode was shorter, and shorter bursts of focused attention. In addition, quantity of words and phrases, and number of new words spoken by the parents was lower than when the TV was off.

Children learn behavior from models. As parents we are trying to do our BEST at all the things. However, our screen time results in missed communication opportunities. It’s not just social media. It’s texting/email, news, looking up a recipe for dinner, paying a bill, ordering a pizza, checking the weather, scheduling an appointment, working from home. To a child ALL of these screen time activities look the same. Super convicting! The link between caregiver screen time and vocabulary is decreased opportunity to learn new vocabulary, decreased social communication, and language models, in addition to, fewer opportunities to ask questions.

School-aged children (ages 5-12)

This is such a tough one because the amount of screen media hasn’t changed much, but HOW kids use media has changed (Robb, 2017). Homework is being completed on a screen. School-aged children are using devices at home, in the classroom, and during social events. There are missed opportunities for learning when screen are present during social events: observing the environment, reading social cues, asking questions, listening to stories, sharing experiences, playing critical thinking games, and imaginative play.

Adolescents (ages 13-18)

Teens do everything adults do on devices! Activities of daily living, social media, online dating (scary), school/homework. Just like the other age groups, there are missed, critical opportunities: practicing interpersonal communication skills, asking questions/testing theories, sharing experiences, developing relationships, telling creative jokes, and gaining independence.

Over-exposure to screen time is impacting language skills such as verbal reasoning, non-literal language, use of humor, code switching, nonverbal communication, narrative language, written language, listening comprehension. Children who are over-exposed to screens demonstrate symptoms similar to ADHD, high functioning autism, social communication disorder, and specific language impairment.

Other screen time facts:

  1. Screen addiction is REAL. Dr. Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA, calls screens “electronic cocaine”. Screens are becoming a digital drug and addiction researchers are seeing potential for addiction. (Westby, 2018)
  2. Research is now showing that screens may rewire developing brains.
  3. Continuous partial attention (CPA) is paying simultaneous attention to a number of sources of incoming information, but at a superficial level (Rose, E. 2010). CPA is motivated by a desire to connect. We want to scan for the best opportunities. We pay continuous partial attention in an effort NOT TO MISS ANYTHING. It is an always on, anywhere, anytime, anyplace behavior that involves an artificial sense of constant crisis.
  4. Children with autism are more vulnerable to effects of screen time because screen time suppresses melatonin, disrupts sleep, causes emotional-dysregulation, and produces overstimulation.
  5. Joint attention or shared attention is the shared focus of two individuals on an object. Sharing a focus not only helps individuals communicate, but it helps develop important social skills such as bonding and seeing another’s point of view. A child with access to screen time on an iPad or tablet is missing out on this critical component of social development.

Most of this information comes from presentations that I attended in order to maintain my state license and certificate of clinical competence. Dr. Carol Westby and Leanna Heinrich, fellow speech language pathologists, shared valuable and insightful research that I would be happy to pass along.

REFERENCES

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2017). Handheld screen time linked with speech delays in young children. AAP New & Journals.

Cox Gurdon, Meghan. (2019). Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishing.

Doyle, Ann. (2014, October 2). When Social Media Turns Anti-social-and What We Can Do). [ASHA Leader Live]. Retrieved from https://blog.asha.org/2014/10/02/when-social-media-turns-antisocial-and-what-we-can-do/

Robb, Michael. (2017). Kids’ Screen Time Shifts Dramatically Toward Phones and Tablets. Common Sense Media. Retrieved from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/kids-screen-time-shifts-dramatically-toward-phones-and-tablets

Schmidt, M.E., et al. (2008). The effects of background television on the toy play behavior of very young children, Child Development, 79 (4), 1137-115.

Wallace, Kelly. (2016, December 6). How much time do parents spend on screens? As much as their teens. CNN. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2016/12/06/health/parents-screen-use-attitudes-tweens-
teens/index.html

Westby, Carole. (2018, November). Screen Time, Learning, and Communication in the 21st Century. Presented at the Annual ASHA Convention, Boston, MA.

Tristan’s first birthday

If you go down in the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise. If you go down in the woods today you’d better go in disguise; For ev’ry bear that ever there was will gather there for certain, because today’s the day the teddy bears have their picnic.

spring reads – kid edition

It’s no surprise that I have a slight obsession with children’s books. And I reeeeeeeeeally like seasonal books. Especially spring. I love the colors and illustrations. I love celebrating Easter with baskets of treats and teaching my boys about the promise of eternal hope.

Research shows that reading books from birth helps your child gain understanding of vocabulary (receptive language) and builds important connections in the brain. When a child understands vocabulary, he or she has the foundation to use these words (expressive language) in order to communicate their wants and needs. Studies also show that children who are frequently read to know more words by the age of two then children who have not been read to regularly.

I’ll try not to be so speech therapist mom nerd but it’s my hearts desire to teach parents how to interact with their children so they build their language and communication. These are some of our (my) faves:

Spring by Gerda Muller: Wordless picture books are great for narrative development. I’m going to get a little grad school….narrative skills improve academic and social success. You tell the story and have your child retell the story (fictitious narrative). Let the illustrations spark creativity and imagination as you create your story structure. Don’t forget internal state terms such as emotion!

Peek-Inside… by Usborne Books: The farm and the garden books are wonderful for this season. The Peek-Inside series is interactive with flaps and holes. Perfect for toddlers!

God Gave Us Easter by Lisa T. Bergren: “God loved us so much he wanted us to always be with him too. That’s why God knew he’d need to give us Easter”. The series is a little lengthy but Berger’s keeps the text simple for littles to understand the meaning of Easter.

Good News! It’s Easter! by Glenys Nellist: This is a new one for us. It’s going in Dane’s Easter basket. It’s a whimsical story about new beginnings and the gift of salvation. Each colorful character finds new life. As the book ends, Jesus is the example of new life as He rises from the tomb to overcome death. And repetitive, predictable, rhythm and rhyme!

Other spring favorites: Little Blue Truck’s Springtime, We Are The Gardeners, That’s Not My Chick, Planting A Rainbow, The Tiny Seed, What Makes It Rain, Bunny Roo I Love You, The Runaway Bunny, and so much more!

We (I) would love to know your faves too!