Tiny Tips Tuesday: Make the Most of Your Summer

Dear Friend,


That word alone brings to mind a kind of freedom from the have-to’s in life to more a may-do way of living. Everything slows down and we are finally able to fully exhale. Our family takes the summer away from school (one of the serious benefits of being a teacher) and we dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to doing what we like to do.

It hasn’t always been this way. We used to save all the yucky house projects for summer break and then spend the summer avoiding them and not really getting anything accomplished and also not having that much fun.

Enter the Summer of Intentionality. {thank you, Rosie!}

You can click the link above for the whole story, but it pretty much comes down to this – in order to get the most out of your summer – plan what you want to learn, what you want to do and what you want to read. – You don’t even have to be a teacher to play along!

summer of intentionality part one to read

TGBTS/Tami’s 2014 Summer Reading List:

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates The Soul by Stuart Brown

How to Be a Woman by Caitlyn Moran

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

And I am hoping many, many more… I’m also signing up for the Sacramento Public Library’s Summer Reading Program for even more incentive to read this summer.

Have you ever been accused of reading too much? Is there really such a thing? What are you reading this summer?

I do hope you decide to make you own Summer of Intentionality lists. Please leave a comment and tell me all about it. If you’d like to take a peek at some of my lists from the past click here.

With lots of love and compassion,



PS – If you find this helpful or know someone who would, please be sure to pass it on. Sharing is caring!

Other posts you might like:

43 Books (but it really is only 39)

Books I Love: Mindset

Books I Love: Steal Like an Artist

No Seriously…. I LOVE BOOKS. Lots and Lots of BOOKS

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summer break

Please send me an email if you’d like to schedule a private session.

Tiny Tips Tuesday: Trade Titles You Love

Dear Friend,

I am an avid reader and often I’m asked what’s on my nightstand, my library hold list and my kindle. Because let’s be honest, I’ve always got multiple books going at once.

Here’s a sneak peek at what I’m reading:

the body book

Basically a user’s manual for the human female body. I just started this, but am already impressed. Diaz encourages women to get to know their bodies and to tap into how they are FEELING rather than how they look.

Part One covers nutrition with a focus on whole unprocessed foods cooked at home and drinking lots of water. Sounds a lot like what everyone’s mom said growing up and they were right!

Part Two is all about fitness with a focus on movement. Using your body in the way that was intended – exercise and weight training and SLEEP (my favorite).

Part Three is all about the mind. Creating new patterns of thing about food, exercise and planning for nutrition and exercise.

self compassion

I first heard about Kristin Neff’s work through Brene Brown and thought if Brene thinks this work is life-changing, so will I.

I was right! When I read it I thought, “Oh, it’s all so simple and straightforward – easy breezy!”

Then I tried putting all three pieces into action and quickly learned this self-compassion business is a moment by moment every day practice.

The three pieces of self-compassion are:

1. Self-kindness.

Pretty self-explanatory and WHOA! Harder than I ever imagined. A serious work in progress.

2. Common humanity

Neff says everyone suffers. No one is perfect. There is no perfect. We are all flawed.

I find this way easier because compassion for others has been something I’ve been trying to practice for years.

3.  Mindfulness

Neff defines mindfulness as seeing clearly and accepting what is happening in the present without judgment.

This is where my yoga and meditation practice really get a workout. Again, so much harder than it sounds. For me, I am usually noticing patterns after the fact. Someday I hope to see in the moment. Always a practice.

plus one

Sacramento yoga teacher, Cori Martinez’s wrote this little gem. I found myself unexpectedly laughing and shaking my head in agreement while reading this on a plane.

Cori’s honest account of her younger days and life in Hawaii have made me want to read more from her.

That’s what I’m reading these days.

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell me what’s on your nightstand. What can’t you wait to read or what is the book you recommend to everyone?

With lots of love and compassion,



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Making The Most of Summer Break: Summer of Intentionality

summer of intentionality 2013

Like most teachers, I look forward to summer break with the passion of a thousand burning suns. Free time, precious free time – to think, read, travel, plan for my next school year, do some professional development, basically restore my body and my brain.

Or fall down the internet rabbit hole and wonder where all my free time went. 

Does that ever happen to you? Has summer break slipped by without learning anything new, reading anything interesting or doing anything fun (or at least productive)?

So in order to combat summer break regret, I’ve started following Rosie’s lead by writing a Summer of Intentionality List that includes things I want to learn, books I want to read and things I want to do.

My husband is also a teacher, so I get the pleasure of spending my break with my sweetheart and two year old in tow. 

Without further ado, here’s my list.

Summer of Intentionality 2013:

Things I Want to Learn:

Skype – This has been on my list the last few years. And yes, this is the summer to make it happen. Want to chat? Hold my hand?

Hootsuite – I love me some social media and I love me some being away from my computer. Enter Hootsuite, the perfect way to make sure I’m giving you the posts you are looking for and while still playing at the pool. I’ll definitely still be on social media, I just need a strategy and a plan.

Movie Maker – shooting and editing video have been completely out of my comfort zone and yet it is time. (I’ve already started – check out my very first video ever.)

Student Motivation – I am curious to do some research how kids learn and what motivates some to work really hard. See below for one of the books I want to read to help me figure this out.

Things I Want to Do:

My Activities:

Yoga class twice a week at It’s All Yoga – yes, I finally have a home practice. I go to class for ideas, the support and the connection. I absolutely adore these people.

Daily restorative yoga – one pose every day to keep the stress monster away. Want to do this too? Try this or this. It will change your life.

Manicure – I haven’t painted my nails in years because I simply don’t think about it and I spend a lot of time on the playground. Sometimes I see other women with pretty nails and think I would like some of that too. Gift card for my birthday? And now I’ll have fancy nails too.

Pedicure – Get one. You know how I know I’m taking good care of myself? By how well I’m taking care of my feet. At home foot massage, daily moisturizing, rolling on a tennis ball, wearing shoes that aren’t flip flops plus a professional pedicure will help me have happy feet.

Foot massage – I am still unclear how I feel about this. Self-care or self-punishment? Jury is still out.

90 Minute full body massage each month. I’ve already done June and can’t wait for July.

Road trip to see Rhett Miller with friends.

Ride my bike for errands. Sacramento is super bike friendly in my neighborhood.

Nap in a hammock. I bought a hammock! I bought a hammock! Now I just need someone to put it together.

Make pie. Good god, I love pie.

Family activities:

Visit Minnesota grandparents.

Visit Bay Area grandparents.

Visit Mendo County grandparents.

Visit Portland friends.

Visit the swimming pool several times a week as a family.

Ride bikes as a family.

Go to the farmer’s market together.

Cook outside at the pool and eat dinner there.

Fruit picking – DONE!

Things I Want to Read:

Complete the summer reading program at the library.



What would you like to learn, do and read this summer?

Image source: parasol by Blancalala on Flickr (cc)

On My Kindle

We’ve been on the road a lot recently visiting family, friends and playgrounds and parks in the Bay Area. It’s been refreshing to get out of the heat in the Sacramento Valley and spend some time reading somewhere other than home.

Here’s what’s on my Kindle:

God bless the Sacramento Public Library and their e-book loans. Saves me tons of money and gives me the freedom to read, read, read!

What’s on your Kindle?

It’s My Lucky Day!


The other day Katy from the Non-Consumer Advocate wrote about a new program through the Portland Public Library called Lucky Day and I was feeling jealous.

Just walk into your neighborhood branch and pick a brand new popular title off the shelf and check it out without the endless hold list?  Of course those kinds of programs happen in Portland.

<imagine whiny voice here> I wish we had a cool program like this in Sacramento.

Well, imagine my surprise when I went to the McClatchy branch of the library today (to get myself out of library fine jail) when I looked up and saw a shelf with Lucky Day books.

I now have three weeks to read these two titles:

Extreme motherhood and a yoga book I’ve had my eye on for months.

Yay me!


What new books have you read that I should keep my eye on? 

Have you had a lucky day recently?

Books I Love…Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives

purchasing information

Happy Sunday!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy (end of) Teacher Appreciation Week!

I’ve been trying to write this post all week and yet between being crunched for time and technical difficulties (could be WordPress or user error – the jury is still out on that), it just hasn’t happened.

I am happy to finally be telling you about this book.


You all know I love me some rest. In fact, I am currently enjoying a Pajama Day and I even have a Rest Manifesto.

Part of what I see as my role in life is to try to convince people to slow down and chill the hell out a bit. What is the damn hurry, anyway?

I found this book on a blog {forgive me, I have since lost the link} and when I asked the always lovely Madeleine about it, she highly recommended it.

Let’s be honest, the title alone was enough to pull me in.

I’ll admit, I cringed a bit about all the religious stuff. That’s how I knew I really loved this book, I kept reading despite the cringing. The resting suggestions are cringe-worthy if you ask me.

Here’s a little gem I shared with my Sunday Snoozers last week:

Remember the Sabbath. Rest is an essential enzyme of life, as necessary as air.

Sort of sums it up, right?

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

My life is so.much.better. when I take the time to chill out and get enough sleep. It’s better when I don’t take on every project offered or try to do everything in one day…or even all the yoga poses offered.

Having a hard time convincing yourself rest is time well spent?

Well, Wayne Muller (the author) has pulled evidence from many world religions arguing GOD wants you to rest.

Yes, you read that right: even GOD wants you to rest.

With chapters titled Rest for the Weary, The Joy of Rest and A Life Well Lived plus micro actions and poems, this is a perfect yoga book for the most non-yoga person.

I highly recommend this book.


Poetry Break!


Let the light of late afternoon

shine through chinks in the barn, moving

up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take chafing

as a woman takes up her needles

and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the abandoned

in long grass. Let the stars appear

and the moon disclose her sliver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.

Let the wind die down. Let the shed

go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop

in the oats, to the air in the lung

let evening come.

Let it come as it will, and don’t

be afraid. God does not leave us

comfortless, so let evening come.

–Jane Kenyon

Celebrate National Library Week! Books I Love: Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood

Here at TGBTS, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this book. For years, I’ve been curious about working mothers and how they do it all. It turns out the answer depends on the woman.

While not yet a mother, I am a woman born between 1965 and 1980 looking for greater happiness and balance between work and home.

Are you?

If so, you need to read this book. It’s written for women just like us.

Hollee and Becky surveyed more than 900 women and conducted in-depth interviews with over 100 of them about their thoughts on working and parenting. This book is the result of their research as well as expert research on marriage, feminism and business. Hollee and Becky’s personal stories are intertwined throughout the chapters.

The unexpected twist? For me, it reads like part my own personal history book (my neck hurts from nodding my head in agreement) and part yoga book.


Yep, possibly an unintended consequence, but I kept thinking about my own yoga practice of self-compassion, kindness and letting go while I was reading this book.

Some examples of the yoga in Good Enough is the New Perfect:

You can do anything – this doesn’t mean you have to do everything. 

(Yoga translation: What does your body need in this moment?)

Delegate: say no.

(Yoga translation: Did someone say pull up a bolster and rest?)

Knowing when to move on means knowing yourself; the answer is different for each of us.

(Yoga translation: there is no right way to do a pose).

Consider your history when making your choices – but don’t let guilt or other women’s choices dictate your own.

(Yoga translation: Keep your eyes on your own mat. Who cares what is happening on the mat next to yours?)

There’s nothing wrong with “easy” – just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s more valuable.

(Yoga translation: fancy side arm balances don’t make you a better person, or yogi)


Want to read this book? Click on the picture above for pre-ordering Good Enough is the New Perfect on Amazon.

Want to learn more about Becky and Hollee? Check out their blog.

On Twitter? You can follow Hollee and Becky.

Want to meet Hollee in person? Sacramento friends, stay tuned for details!


A GIVEAWAY! Have you entered to win Tales from the Yoga Studio yet? Click here to see how to be entered.