Top 10 book recommendations for moms

One of my favorite questions my mom-friends ask me is “What should I read?”

We all know how challenging and sometimes isolating motherhood can be. Reading a great book can be such an uplift and needed escape amidst the diaper changes, tantrums and other non-glamorous parts of young motherhood.

Here are some favorite books (both fiction and non-fiction) I find myself telling fellow mamas they have to read:

The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton: This book is among my top three all-time favorite novels. A beautifully woven tale of mystery, love and self-discovery.

Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte: My favorite classic romance. This love story is a touch dark and heartbreakingly attractive—just how I like them. (Any other Wuthering Heights fans out there?)  I love Jane’s character. How she keeps her confidence despite a tragic childhood.

Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist: Shauna so powerfully and authentically shares a message every mom needs to hear about saying no to good things to have the most important things. Read more about what I learned from this book here.

Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert: This normally wouldn’t be categorized as a mom book, necessarily, but I feel strongly about moms not putting their dreams and identities on hold during the young motherhood years. I love how this book beckons the creativity and big-dreaming in all of us. It wipes away the excuses we give ourselves not to follow our creative urges. It adds a sense of magic, wonder and power to those urges, which are not to be dismissed. I have always loved the way Elizabeth Gilbert thinks, and this might be my favorite book of hers (I loved “Eat, Pray, Love” too).

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah: I won’t ever forget this book. It is one of the most moving historical fictions I have read in my life. Kristin Hannah tells the heart-wrenching stories of the realities of World War II masterfully. A must, must, must read.

Caraval, by Stephanie Garber: This is the perfect page-turner escape. A clever, creative story with all the romance and intrigue you’d hope for. In fiction form, any way. 🙂 Plus, it’s being made into a movie!

Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote this memoir during a solo trip to the beach. (Sounds amazing, right, moms?) I didn’t realize until after I read it that she’d written this book in the 50s, because the content is so relevant to modern-day moms. I also wasn’t aware until later of Anne’s history as the wife of the famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh and the tragedy of their infant son being kidnapped and murdered. The book, however, is an uplifting collection of insights on youth, motherhood, love and the beauty of solitude. A must-read for every mom.

Mittenstrings for God, by Katrina Kenison: A beautiful memoir about finding more balance, peace and presence in motherhood.

Edenbrooke, by Julianne Donaldson: A clean, happy romance that will have you wanting to put on a Jane-Austen style dress and twirl in the nearest orchard. (Or was that just me?)

Daring Greatly, by Brené Brown: This book teaches an important lesson on embracing vulnerability instead of labeling it as weakness or shying away from it out of fear, as we tend to. Brené sheds light on shame and why it’s such a destructive thing to use on ourselves and our children. She teaches us how to live wholeheartedly as an individual and as a parent. I think everyone needs the perspective shift this book provides.



Why you should put Australia at the top of your travel bucket list

See my segment about Australia on Fox 13’s “The Place” here.
It’s true: Of the 10 most poisonous snakes in the world, all are Australian. The most toxic animal in the world, the box jellyfish, lives in Australian waters. There are poisonous (and huge) spiders, deadly rip currents, and sharks. Australia’s east coast is home to the 15 hottest places on earth. The flight to get there is pretty much an all-day affair, and you end up losing an entire day of existence on the way there thanks to the International Dateline.

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Utah’s best family staycations

Check out my Utah staycations segment on Fox 13’s “The Place” here! 

There’s something thrilling about exploring new cities and countries.

But so many of us miss the beauty in our own backyards. I live in Utah, and there are so many spectacular places that people come from all over the world to see. So, I’ve decided to play tourist in my own state.

I packed up my family of five and explored some of the best places Utah has to offer. Here are some of our new favorite places to stay:

Conestoga Ranch, Bear Lake

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Why I teach my kids to believe in fairies + Woodland Fairies at Gardner Village

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.” -Mark Twain 

I grew up with an imaginative childhood. My mom wrote painstakingly tiny notes from the tooth fairy and left them under my pillow. I believed fairies were real, and we spent hours searching for them in the backyard, building little houses for them, knowing they must’ve flitted away just moments before.

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