Coffee Chat 21 | When to quit a book, creative kids and other front porch topics

Summer is in full swing over here and we couldn’t be happier about it. I wanted to pop in and say hi and chat about a couple of random topics, so I locked the kids inside (not really, but kind of) and filmed a quick coffee chat on the front porch.

Grab your cup of coffee and let’s chat!


  • Someday I’ll put together a GUIDE TO VISITING SEATTLE (because you really should come visit!). Until then, I found these posts that are full of great suggestions: 24 Hours In Seattle, Seattle City Guide, City Guide: Seattle
  • We can’t get enough LA CROIX around our house (as seen below). My favorite is the fancy Curate version in Mure Pepino (aka cucumber blackberry). 
  • I recently read THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (but I don’t recommend the audio version) and A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN. I have read almost all of Susan Meissner’s books and love them all. Especially this one.
  • Currently, I’m reading VICTORIA by Daisy Goodwin and am very tempted to quit. I read An American Heiress and enjoyed it, but this one is taking me forever to get through. Do you quit books?
  • My friend, ANNE (who writes The Modern Mrs. Darcy) has a fantastic Summer Reading Guide. Get it here.
  • If you haven’t watched yet, try THE CROWN.
  • I’m going to finish my book and then watch the show – VICTORIA on PBS.
  • Things that are keeping the kids busy: CARDBOARD + DUCT TAPE
  • They have created the most elaborate shields, helmets, swords, weaponry. Their little cousin came over and they dressed him up and spent hours outside playing like this.
  • The only problem with all this cardboard + duct tape creation is the mess it makes (which I’m trying to get over). Currently our dining room/Armory looks like this:
  • This week, the kids have been in to POLYMER CLAY.

  • Our baby nephew, Ryan, has us all smitten. If you need me, I’ll probably be sitting outside under the shade snuggling him while the kids are swimming in the lake and Ryan and his brother are outfitting an old bike with pool noodles so it will float when they ride it off the dock into the water (very true story, as seen here).
  • I’m wearing THESE GINGHAM SHORTS and a no-longer-available shirt from MADEWELL in the video. And sitting on THESE ROCKING CHAIRS.

Enjoy your weekend, my friends!

34 Responses to Coffee Chat 21 | When to quit a book, creative kids and other front porch topics

  1. Melanie July 14, 2017 at 7:27 am #

    It’s sooooo hard for me to abandon a book. No matter how much I dislike it, I still feel the need to finish it. There’s a book I’ve been trying to slog through for months and I keep telling myself I should stop, but I haven’t been able to do it yet. There are only a couple of books that I can think of that haven’t finished in my life. Fiction, that is :) I don’t have as hard a time abandoning fiction, although I don’t read it often either.

  2. Amanda July 12, 2017 at 6:58 am #

    I’ve never been able to not finish a book. However, I will start to skim really fast and skip a couple pages at a time to get to the end faster. That way I still get the gist of what’s happening but don’t get bogged down by the slow parts.

  3. Rach C July 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm #

    Love where you live. To have all that outside area with an established garden would be beautiful. I also loved The Crown. Can’t wait for season 2. I’m assuming there will be one. In regards to books, if it doesn’t grab me in the first few chapters then I definitely don’t try and finish it off. I just don’t want to waste my time trying to push through a book that I’m not finding interesting. Same with a movie. I generally love an action/spy/crime/alien type novel. Then I throw a romance in there to break it up every now and then. The best historical fiction series I’ve read are the Zion Covenant series by Brock & Bodie Theone. Set in WWII. I got it from Koorong (Christian book store here in Australia). I would just buy the first one and see if you like it then go from there. I think there’s about 9 novels in the series. They also do at least one other series, which is set in the time of Jesus. There are soo many writers out there, I just don’t know who is good and who isn’t. Good luck with your Victoria novel. xx

  4. Becky Monteiro July 11, 2017 at 7:12 am #

    I’m curious to know how to do keep all the clay at bay. My kids love them too but I don’t know how to store them so they don’t look bad.

  5. Lucy July 10, 2017 at 9:51 am #

    I was so in love with LaCroix too and then I read in The Washington Post that the citric acids they use to flavor the water are bad for your teeth! They say the non-flavored ones are okay though.

    I loved Victoria on TV. Don’t let the book discourage you from watching the show!

  6. Jodie July 10, 2017 at 9:27 am #

    Please do more coffee chats on your front porch! It’s adorably cozy!! Love the garland over the swing. Can you post a pic of the swing closer up to see the garland idea? Anyway, love the idea of outdoor chat time. Looking forward to see how you decorate it come fall!

  7. Candy July 9, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

    Have you read “the last painting of Sara DeVos?” its a story that crosses timelines and generations and is one of the best stories I have read in a really long time. Highly Recommend!!

    • emily July 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

      Thank you for the recommendation! I just added it to my wish list.

  8. Jennifer July 9, 2017 at 10:27 am #

    My son is really into the cardboard creating phase also! Curious on how they cut their cardboard. He uses scissors ( has dulled almost all of them) and a box cutter ( works well but worried about it being too sharp and hurting him and my floors). Thanks!

    • emily July 10, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

      My scissors have been lost to cardboard cutting. They are super dull. I think that’s just what happens with all that thick cardboard.

  9. Erin July 8, 2017 at 5:39 pm #

    My kids have been loving the Art For Kids website. My refrigerator is covered in adorable drawings. I just showed my son the picture of your kids and the Armory. He’s impressed and inspired! Thank you for all the ideas!

  10. Amanda Holz July 8, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

    Hi Emily! Loved following along with your travels last summer and value your opinion on traveling. My husband and I are coming to Seattle in September without kids and like to hike and explore nature as well as towns. Most of the suggestions in the blogs you suggested are for exploring the city of Seattle. Is there a hike or something in nature around Seattle that is something that we shouldn’t miss?

  11. Sherri July 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm #

    What color is your nail polish in the La Croix pic? I’m looking for a color like that which doesn’t look like Halloween orange! Thanks

    • emily July 9, 2017 at 9:54 am #

      My toes are very bright! I get gel polish and they just have numbers, so I can’t say what the name is. It’s just a pretty bright orangy-red :)

  12. janet July 8, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

    Great coffee chat today! I’m a big Susan Meissner fan, but could did not get far into A Bridge Across the Ocean. Just didn’t want to read about the ghosts… :) I’ve also learned that I do not have to finish every book I start, so that’s one I put down.

    • emily July 9, 2017 at 9:53 am #

      I was weirded out with the ghosts, too. But it turned out to be a great story.

  13. Carrie July 8, 2017 at 7:00 am #

    First, your kids are adorable! I’m a fan of Anne’s (MMD) blog too. I totally agree- quit a book if you aren’t loving it (I’ll give it 50 pages). Life is too short to read bad books!

  14. Casey Robertson July 8, 2017 at 5:44 am #

    I read Victoria and watched the PBS series- The series are the book nearly word for word. I think in this case it’s OK to quit the book!

  15. Kate July 8, 2017 at 5:29 am #

    I stopped feeling that I had to finish a book years ago, if it doesn’t interest me in the 1st chapter it’s done.

    but I loved the Daisy Goodwin book,

  16. Shelley July 7, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

    Would you post a close up pic of your porch swing? It looks adorable from a distance.

  17. Debbie July 7, 2017 at 6:48 pm #

    Have you read ” The Forgotten Room”? 👍

    • emily July 8, 2017 at 9:19 am #

      I have not! I’ll go look it up …

  18. Lisa Gelber July 7, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

    Emily, historical fiction is my genre and I did not like Victoria. I did finish it though.

    • emily July 8, 2017 at 9:19 am #

      That’s good to know … I’m not the only one!

  19. Julie July 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

    Love it!

  20. Amanda July 7, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    The Victoria show is quite worthwhile … I feel ya about the book though. And I’m a total “books are always better” girl!

    • emily July 8, 2017 at 9:20 am #

      When I looked up the show, it looked so good and pretty – costumes, sets, etc. I’m excited to try it!

  21. Jenny July 7, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

    I love the shirt that you are wearing… super cute! And how crafty of your kids. Their armor and weapons look great!

  22. Aja July 7, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    Have you read Kate Morton? I love all her books and she does a fantastic job of writing stories like this.. present day and the past and tying them together with some sort of mystery. I highly recommend her!

    • emily July 7, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

      Ooh, I do love Kate Morton. I haven’t read anything of hers in a few years … I’ll pick one up next!

  23. Ginny Mapes July 7, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    Books — I review for Amazon and was a former teacher and librarian. When you are reading a book, you know when it is not for you. I always tell kids if you try it for 10 pages and it does “grab” your interest, move on to another book. There are so many great books, do not waste your time on something that is not for you. We all have different tastes. Now I read almost all non-fiction. But you know when it is one you will love — go for those. Remember the 11th commandment —buy books! If not buying go to the library, and always check out garage sale books. Happy reading. . .

  24. Jen July 7, 2017 at 10:24 am #

    You are super cute, sitting on your porch, love it! We just moved a couple hours from Seattle, so can’t wait to hear your suggestions for visiting. Would love to hear the top 2-3 things for just a day trip, in addition to longer visits. Love LaCroix too, and shelving cardboard and duct tape for future reference!!

  25. Lisa M. July 7, 2017 at 10:21 am #

    Hello! My favorite La Croix that I’ve found is Pina Fraise (Pinnapple Strawberry)! I love it. I’m also going to have to try the flavor you spoke of in the video. Sounds yummy!
    Thanks for the update on life in your neck of the woods!
    Enjoy the rest of your summer :)

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