My very favorite Gilmore Girls books.


It’s Gilmore Girls Day!

And I, for one, could not be more excited that at least for the time being, I’m going to be able to find the Lovely Lorelais on Netflix.

As a word nerd, I enjoy the dialogue in this show so much. But maybe one of my favorite parts of Gilmore Girls is that I identify a bit with Rory’s character, who always brings a book wherever she goes.

I confessed Monday that as a young girl, you could frequently find me curled up in a closet with a Nancy Drew. True story.

I eventually morphed into a full-grown adult who once, brought a book to my husband’s Christmas party.

What? I don’t know those people.

I thought it would be fun today to talk a little about some of those books that Rory is seen reading in the 153 episode of Gilmore Girls. (Not that anyone’s counting.)

You can find a full list all over the Internet, but some of the ones I’ve read and loved include:

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett


The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen


Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn


Empire Falls by Richard Russo (love this cover — it’s the one I have!)


Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers (remember this book?!)

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High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (anything by Nick Hornby, really)


Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

(along with Me Talk Pretty One Day)


Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich


Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Time and Again by Jack Finney (Maybe one of my favorites ever. And just $1.99!)


There’s also lots of good ones to share with kids.

My favorites from the list:

You can see the full Rory Gilmore reading list here. Do you have a favorite?

This post contains affiliate links. If you use them, we get a few cents which of course, we’ll just spend on more books. Thank you!


10 ways to get time alone when you’re homeschooling


I had a dream the other night.

I was on vacation with my family, and my mom was there.

She busted me reading in a closet.

I had ducked away from my husband, children and mother, apparently, and was hiding behind some coats with a book.

This is actually how I spent a lot of my childhood.

Not on vacation, but in a closet, reading.

During summers when there wasn’t school, my mom would take us to work with her at our family’s business.

In the mornings, we could do odd jobs for cash (which I used to buy books) and then after lunch every day I would sit in a closet with a Nancy Drew.

I’m pretty sure this is the definition of The Introverted Child.

So is it any wonder that some days, I just want to hide?

It doesn’t mean I don’t love my children, or that I don’t love homeschooling.

It just means that sometimes … well, it’s my very nature, I think, to crave time alone.

The thing I’ve realized in the past few years, though, is that no one is going to offer me alone time.

My husband is a talker, and my kids still like being around me.

So I literally have to ask for it, or even schedule it.

I’ve stopped feeling so bad about that, though.

When I get time alone, I am a better wife and mom.

And I’m not talking about month-long retreats. I’m talking about a long shower with no one talking to me through the curtain.

So here are 10 ways I’ve figured out how to get alone time as a homeschooling mama:

1. Get up early. I am not a morning person, but this is the time of day when things are still and quiet in my house.

2. Run an errand. Errands actually wear me out, but if I head to a specific store for one thing, it’s not too bad. Especially when you factor in a podcast and Starbucks.

3. Declare an independent study morning. My son loves this one. The kids are allowed to work on whatever they want, quietly.

4. Audiobooks. Audiobooks might be one of my favorite things ever. If I put on a good audiobook for the kids and put out some art supplies, it can buy me at least a half-hour of quiet. (A recent favorite was this one.)


5. Take a walk. This one is super effective for me for two reasons — first, the alone time. And second, the exercise component helps me feel more relaxed and patient. Add a good audiobook or podcast for even more enjoyment.

6. Hire a sitter. It doesn’t have to be all the time or even for very long. Three hours once a month can really help.

7. Take a class. I’ve taken knitting, sewing and photography in the past couple of years. No, I’m not technically alone while learning, but I can attest that a class does feel like a break from being “on.” Plus, it sets a great example of life-long learning for your kids.

8. Plan an adventure. My husband is always up for an adventure, but doesn’t always have ideas. I realized recently that that’s because he doesn’t get 12 emails a week from the science museum like I do!


9. Hold quiet time. I’ve often said that my kids don’t love quiet time. They see it as the appendix of our day — “We don’t need it!”

“Lots of people don’t have it and they’re fine!”

I see it as the skin of our day — without it I’m falling apart all over and scaring small people.

And so, I try to have a few minutes of quiet time every day. I’ve also learned that it only counts if you do something restorative. Cleaning the sink doesn’t work.

10. Just go. No need to be dramatic, but there might be times when your whole family would really benefit if you took the time you needed. I don’t mean abandon them. Be sure your children are in good, caring, capable hands. Have a plan. Don’t leave in anger.

But make sure all is OK and then, just go.

Because it’s never necessarily going to be easy. There is always going to be something that could keep you home: your mate’s lack of cooking skills, your child’s tantrum, your messy house …

So you might just have to make yourself do it.

I think you’ll find that when you do, you’ll come back feeling a whole lot better, with a much healthier perspective.

I know I do.

 Have you found ways to get the alone time you need?

Cooking with Raddish (plus a give-away!)


“Mama,” asked the world’s sweetest chef, “are we going to do my Raddish box today?”

She had been waiting since the day it arrived in the mail.


“I love these!” she said, hugging the box to her chest. “I love cooking!”

My kids have always been drawn to the kitchen. And I think that’s helped them to become adventurous eaters and experienced cooks.


I know a lot of families struggle with getting their kids to eat, and I feel incredibly lucky two have two kiddos who both love to make and eat good food!


So when my daughter wanted to cook-up teriyaki salmon, sesame broccoli and brown rice as part of her September Brain Food Raddish Kids box, I wasn’t surprised. But I was a little worried — she’s 7!

I was sort of shocked at just how simple it was for us to cook the whole meal together, with my 7-year-old doing most of it entirely on her own!


(This box also features recipes for berry pancakes and pizza quinoa bites, as well as lots of other stuff to help kids learn about measuring and healthy eating.)

Raddish recipes are perfect for kids learning to cook. Everything is written out clearly on high quality laminated cards.


And the boxes are jam-packed with so much good stuff and so much learning — math, science, reading comprehension and kitchen safety.

The Brain Food box focuses on omegas and other “brain boosters,” and it’s awesome to be able to teach kids about the power of food, while showing them that healthy meals are still incredibly delicious.

Plus, maybe my favorite part of cooking with Raddish that it’s an adventure that we can share together.


(And then we get to eat really good food. Like what I would order at a restaurant. And my new favorite dessert, which my little chef made BY HERSELF for my birthday this year!)


Raddish’s amazing recipes continue to get big thumbs-up from my kids, and we love learning together with Raddish!

If you would like to try cooking with Raddish Kids too, I have some AWESOME news!

Raddish is offering one Brain Food box, plus a Create a Cookbook binder in which to store Raddish recipe guides to one Quill and Camera reader.

Just leave a comment below to enter, and for extra entries, like Raddish Kids and Quill and Camera on Facebook, and then come back and let me know you liked us :)

The give-away will close and I’ll announce a winner Tuesday, Sept. 30!

Happy cooking friends! And good luck!!