The Best Down and Dirty Books about Rock and Roll

Led Zepplin

There are a mountain of biographies and memoirs about rock and roll, rockers, musicians, groupies, rock wives and girlfriends. But my friend K (who shall henceforth be called “The Expert”) and I like a certain “class” of these books. We put our heads together and came up with this list of what we think are […]

Enter The Baby Bash Giveaway!

I’m teaming up with some of my favorite baby brands to bring you The Baby Bash Giveaway. One lucky winner will win a $100 Target gift card plus products from Boogie Wipes, Baby Bjorn, Dreft, Kandoo and Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus. Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents and ends at 11:59 pm on […]

Daddy’s Parenting Wisdom

Leave your boys with your husband and 3 things will happen:

This post was actually written 3 years ago but my  husband’s wisdom stands the test of time. Read it and weep (with laughter). This past weekend, I left my husband and the boys here to fend for themselves while I went to BlogU.  To their credit, I barely heard from them the entire time I was […]

Honest Beer Labels For Dads

Honest Beer Labels for Dads

Who deserves a brewski more than dad? Whether it’s Father’s Day or any other time of the year, dad has his own reasons for needing a beer. But wouldn’t it be a nice shortcut to which one he wants if we just went ahead and put the reason WHY he’s drinking on the label? My Honest Wine […]

Win 8 of the Best Summer Books and a $250 Amazon Giftcard!

I’m super excited to be taking part in this great summer book giveaway (plus you can win a $250 Amazon gift card). Read on to find out which book I loved almost enough to DIE 4 this past Spring (hint). Friends, you know we love our books around these parts! We love sharing our latest […]

Learning, Exploring and Having Fun!

Gulf Coast Exploreum in Mobile, Alabama

For the 4th year in a row, we’re going to be part of the  Gulf Coast Exploreum summer camp family. And that should tell you a lot about them. Asher started going to Exploreum camps the summer he was 6. We picked up the brochure while we were there one day (we’re members because the kids love to […]

More Honest Wine Labels for Teachers

Open While Cleaning Out Desks No Sharing Necessary Celebrating no more paper work until August. Allison Hart Probably too mean, but “Because you’re not paid enough to buy your own wine” Enjoy your break from your students’ vomit Because they are all geniuses until they go to school Because you gave me your personal email […]

A Mardi Gras Drinking Game for Parents

Mardi Gras Drinking Game for parents

Today’s post comes at a perfect time for my Mobile and New Orleans friends – and many others who celebrate Mardi Gras. We’re deep in the “throws” (hehe) of it right now and I can back up everything my friend, Annie, has written below. You just can’t get through the parades without a good drinking […]

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The Best Down and Dirty Books about Rock and Roll

There are a mountain of biographies and memoirs about rock and roll, rockers, musicians, groupies, rock wives and girlfriends. But my friend K (who shall henceforth be called “The Expert”) and I like a certain “class” of these books. We put our heads together and came up with this list of what we think are the very best down and dirty (emphasis on dirty) rock and roll memoirs cuz we love books about rock and roll and the people who “do” it. If this stuff is up your alley, then get comfortable. You’re gonna be in this dark alley for quite a while.
 The Best down and dirty rock and roll memoirs

The Expert calls these Rock and Roll Memoirs The Classics

Im with the band
The Dirt

The Expert and I agree that these are the Good, Juicy Rock and Roll Memoir Reads

Tommyland
Heroin Diaries
sex drugs
Slash
duff mckagan
Watch You Bleed
LAte late
lita

The Expert recommends these Insightful Rock Reads. I’ve only read the dirty, non-sightful ones)

drinking with strangers
marilyn
kicking
scar tissue

A fellow rock and roll memoir lover and reader of the blog offered up a list of some serious life lesson rock books.

weiland

Fall To Pieces by Mary Forsberg Weiland – if you thought the statement she put out with her children when Scott Weiland died was brutal, read the book to find out why it honestly wasn’t. This book was so sad, but I think Mary
is amazingly strong and doing what she can to survive.

Punk Rock Dad

Punk Rock Dad by Jim Lindberg. This is one of my favorite books. He’s the lead singer of Pennywise. It’s not only a rocker boy autobiography, but a dad biography. I loved this book because he writes about being a punk, and
how to reconcile that with being a parent. Fuck authority, but behave! This book lead to the documentary The Other F Word, which I highly recommend.

Mother

And I Don’t Want To Live This Life by Deborah Spungen. The author was the mother of Nancy Spungen of Sid and Nancy fame. It felt to me like Nancy was an incredibly unlikeable person. So much so that her mother wrote a book about her life that made you really feel bad for her family. Maybe make your older kids read this one so they’ll scratch heroin off their rock and roll bucket lists.

Both The Expert and I agree that these three fall into the class of

All-access Pass to Backstage Debauchery

Last slut
rita
cherry pie
I read this book las summer. Well, I listened to it to be honest. There are a few reasons this book is a GREAT choice, especially if you remember beautiful Bobbie Jean Brown from her long-standing streak on Star Search and/or her Warrant Cherry Pie video. 1. She is a down-home Louisiana girl and she is so honest about herself and her shortcomings in the book, you just feel like she’s also telling the truth about the other people. Yes, she was married to Jani Lane from Warrant for a short period of time but there is so much more to the story. Did you know she was engaged to Tommy Lee when he ran off and married Pam Anderson in Cancun after dating her for 3 days? Bobbie will tell you the real truth behind the “spin” of that marriage. 2. Bobbie had a cowriter for this book and I’m not faulting her for that because rockers and groupies are not writers and most need cowriters. No big deal. However, if you listen to the audiobook instead of reading it, you’ll LOL at her pronunciation of some of the bigger words her coauthor put into the book. And I mean, LOL. But it will only endear her to you more. This one gets 5 drumsticks and a guitar lick. Get it now.
A last-minute addition from The Expert: Sebastian Bach’s book
sebastian bach
You might notice that The Expert has a slight Tommy Lee fetish having read pretty much every book he appears in or is mentioned in and while I’ll admit that’s true, I’ll also tell you she does not discriminate when it comes to rock and roll memoirs. She’s been known to only allow herself a few pages per night of many of these books just because she doesn’t ever want the book to end. I wish I’d followed her example on my most recent read, “Dirty Rocker Boys” by Bobbie Brown but it was just so delicious I finished it in 2 days.
 The Best down and dirty rock and roll memoirs
It took all of 12 hours for me to get messages from my music-loving friends about other great books I missed in the list. Here are a few of those:
Fargo Rock City by Chuck Klosterman (don’t stop there – he has several that are fantastic. Gabe and I have read almost all of them!)
 The Most Beautiful by Mayte Garcia.
Don’t get me started. I still can’t talk about it without getting a lump in my throat. My purple one is gone. I hesitated for a while to even read this book because I was afraid it would be exploitive being from his ex. I found it to be very insightful, honest and respectful of Prince. I felt like I was allowed inside his real life for a bit. Read it. Highly recommend.

Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield (has many more titles). This one was recommended to me by a likeminded rock & roll lover I know and I am literally placing my order right night.

You’ll find a link to the books if you click on the photos or the titles and if you purchase, I’ll make a small commission as an *amazon affiliate that helps to fund this blog. So get to shopping, get to reading and if you’re really in the mood, go get that bottle of Rave you’ve been storing in your bathroom for a rock and roll emergency and tease that hair up BIG!
Please follow along on facebook, instagram and twitter and if you really want to keep up – you don’t want to miss any update on dirty rocker memoirs do you? – sign up for my newsletter and get an email every time I write a new post (1-2 times per week tops).

Enter The Baby Bash Giveaway!

I’m teaming up with some of my favorite baby brands to bring you The Baby Bash Giveaway.

One lucky winner will win a $100 Target gift card plus products from Boogie Wipes, Baby Bjorn, Dreft, Kandoo and Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus.

Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents and ends at 11:59 pm on Friday, August 4, 2017.

Complete the form below to enter. Click here if you are not able to see the form. Good luck!

BABY PARTIES WITH BOOGIE WIPES

From Baby Showers to Sprinkles, Sip & See Showers and even Gender Reveal Parties, Boogie Wipes is helping you host and attend every baby party you can think of. Use the links below to learn more about how to host each type of party, a unique way to learn the gender of your baby, the perfect gifts for every event, and the one thing you really need at a Sip & See (besides a baby).

Gender Reveal Party

Baby Shower

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Sip & See

Daddy’s Parenting Wisdom

This post was actually written 3 years ago but my  husband’s wisdom stands the test of time. Read it and weep (with laughter).

This past weekend, I left my husband and the boys here to fend for themselves while I went to BlogU.  To their credit, I barely heard from them the entire time I was there – and let’s be frank, all 3 of them are usually guilty of asking me where the peanut butter is while staring right at it.

Why your kids behave better for him than you. #DaddysParentingWisdom - Toulouse and TonicWhen I did talk to Gabe on Sunday while I was waiting around in the Charlotte, NC airport with about 3 million other waylaid people, because … American Airlines …

he informed me that the boys slept until 10:00am both Saturday and Sunday mornings (they wake at 6:30am for me), didn’t fight (I have no idea what their normal, non-fighting voices sound like) and played alone quietly so he could get stuff done (what is this played alone thing of which you speak?). He may not have said it, but there was an implied, “Learn from me, grasshopper!”

Leave your boys with your husband and 3 things will happen:The fabulous Paige Kellerman and I got to spend a good amount of time together over the weekend, which was so fun for me, and during one of our discussions we talked about this very thing – how her kids will also give her husband all kinds of space but crawl all over her every minute of the day.  What is this phenomenon?  Why do they behave differently for their fathers?

Gabe’s theory is well-illustrated by a story from his weekend alone with the boys.  He took both of them out to run errands.  In the parking lot of Lowe’s, Meyer was being very, uh, 2.  Throwing fits, melting down, squirming out of Gabe’s arms.  He finally had enough and gave him a little pop on the behind.  That’s probably not too shocking, right?  Plenty of people dole out a little corporeal punishment now and then.  Hell, I got spankings aplenty when I was growing up.  The funny part is that some lady who saw the “pop” approached him as he was putting the kids in the car and THANKED him for raising his kids right – informing him that not nearly enough people do that anymore.

That is not how I thought that story was gonna go.

As for me, I almost never use any kind of physical force/punishment with my boys.  I didn’t like it when it was used on me and I don’t like to use it on them.

But their dad thinks this (or maybe what it represents) is the very reason they’re so different with me. And he likes to give me advice about how to “man-up” my parenting.

Here are some of my favorite #DaddysParentingWisdom quotes, from Gabe to me to you.Daddy's Parenting Wisdom - Toulouse & TonicDaddy's Parenting Wisdom - Toulouse & TonicWhy they behave better for him than you. #DaddysParentingWisdom - Toulouse & TonicI was so tired by the time I made it home from BlogU on Sunday, we all just passed out immediately and lucky for me, both boys had camp Monday morning so I got to actually recover a bit.

Monday afternoon when they got home, I noticed they both smelled, well, HEINOUS.  Not just the been-at-camp-all-day, Tevas-without-socks kind of boy stink but the wandering-in-the-desert-for-30-years kind of boy stink.  I asked Gabe, “When’s the last time these boys had a bath?”  His response:  “Does the pool count?”

Uh, no.  Not unless you used soap.  See, daddy doesn’t know everything.

What do you think about Gabe’s parenting wisdom?  Does your husband have any parenting quotes that make you laugh?

Honest Beer Labels For Dads

Who deserves a brewski more than dad? Whether it’s Father’s Day or any other time of the year, dad has his own reasons for needing a beer. But wouldn’t it be a nice shortcut to which one he wants if we just went ahead and put the reason WHY he’s drinking on the label? My Honest Wine Labels for Moms and More Honest Wine Labels for Moms were so very popular, I thought the same concept would work perfectly for dads. So here for your laughing pleasure are honest beer labels for dads™. (Honest Beer Labels for Dads will be available to buy in the near future. Honest Wine Labels for Moms, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and for Teachers are available now on etsy.

Drink 6 of these quickly because it’s better than standing there wondering if the dad bod is really in or if everyone’s just being ironic and making fun of you.

Honest Beer Labels for Dads - @toulousentonic

No dad (or mom for that matter) should have to watch the movie Frozen ever ever ever again without some kind of adult beverage in their hand. If you think otherwise, LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO and go get yourself a beer now.

Honest Beer Labels for Dads - @toulousentonicWhether the big game in on or nothing good is on, you deserve some daddy juice if you’re having to watch that wretched Calliou.
Honest Beer Labels for Dads - @toulousentonicCongratulations, your wife is pregnant. Or rather, “we’re” pregnant. But this isn’t the first time around – you know what hell its gonna be like for a while to have a new baby around the house. Crack open a bottle of “We’re pregnant (again)” and then start saving for a case of “We’re going to Disneyland.” Because it’s gonna cost you, dude. It’s gonna cost you big.Honest Beer Labels for Dads - @toulousentonicShe’s started talking about how much more convenient it would be if you just got snipped – or worse yet, she’s talking about wanting another baby. Guess which beer is perfect for this occasion? Yep, “V is for Vasectomy” should be chilling in the frig NOW.
Honest Beer Labels for Dads - @toulousentonic

Is your normally sweet wife’s head doing a complete rotation on her neck like in the Exorcist? Has she asked you what you’re staring at or why you’re just standing there doing nothing yet? There’s no time to waste. Grab a 6 pack of “PMS there’snotenoughbeerintheworld” and head out to your man cave PRONTO.

These honest and funny beer labels for dads are just perfect for Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas or any other day of the year. Subscribe to this blog so you’ll know when they’re available to buy. In the meantime, share this post with all the dads you know who need a good beer now and then, which is to say, all of them.

If you’re looking for a good gift for a dad who likes beer, I recommend these:

In the meantime, I’m already working on the 2nd round of Honest Beer Labels for Dads AND you can buy a wide variety of Honest Wine Labels for Moms, various holidays and for teachers now, so leave your ideas here and I might use them in a future post!

See the Honest Wine Labels for Moms posts here and here and here and here.

Come join us for daily laughs on my here!

*post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy something, I receive a small fee which helps to support this blog.

Win 8 of the Best Summer Books and a $250 Amazon Giftcard!

I’m super excited to be taking part in this great summer book giveaway (plus you can win a $250 Amazon gift card). Read on to find out which book I loved almost enough to DIE 4 this past Spring (hint).

Friends, you know we love our books around these parts! We love sharing our latest picks and favorite finds through our monthly virtual book club, and we LOVE hearing what YOU think as we break it all down. One of the coolest parts of our book club year is partnering with blogging friends at the kick-off of summer and compiling a list of the best summer books and why we think you’ll love them. In addition to sharing our picks, we celebrate the start of summer reading in a big way–with a fantastic giveaway for a $250 Amazon gift card and EIGHT free books! So tune in below for the 20 Best Summer Books List and then make sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the end for your chance to score big. And this year we have a fun bonus–WE ARE GIVING AWAY 100 COPIES OF OUR TOP ALL-TIME PICK too! Wa-hoo!

It's here! The annual list of the 20 best summer books! All come highly recommended and are perfect reads to kick back with this summer! Plus, check out this incredible giveaway--100 copies of ONE book, a $250 Amazon giftcard and a bunch of new beach reads? Enter now!!

20 Best Summer Books:

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Femme Frugality: “Psychology, philosophy and theology have a way of blending together. In this book, psychologist Viktor Frankl relates his experiences as a prisoner in Hitler’s concentration camps, using it as a way to underpin his philosophy that man can get through anything if he assigns meaning to life. Great for anyone going through a difficult time, or anyone who has detached from organized religion but is still seeking the meaning of life.”
  2. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Lindsay of See Mom Click: “If you’ve ever felt like the days are slipping by and you’re just trudging along, The Happiness Project is a must-read. Rubin’s writing really speaks to me, the perfect balance of hard facts and science combined with practical wisdom about proactively making yourself happier and living in the now.”
  3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. Wendy of ABCs and Garden Peas: “An inspiring, food-filled story of the Kingsolver family’s adventure as they move to a farm in southern Appalachia and begin living their lives in a way that works with the local food chain. This year’s 10th Anniversary Edition also gives readers a glimpse into how their family has carried their inspiring “real food” journey with them throughout the next decade.
  4. A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. Mikaela Fleisher of Iris and Honey: “Christina Baker Kline brings an artist and his muse to life in this novel that blends fact and fiction. Based on Andrew Wyeth’s painting, Christina’s World, Kline gives readers a truly beautiful glimpse into the life of the woman behind the painting.
  5. Red Water by Kristen Mae. Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense: “An Amazon best seller, Red Water will slither under your skin and stick there. Erotic, raw, and disturbing, and with deeply flawed but relatable characters, Mae’s sophomore novel is a dark, unflinching examination of the psychology of self-loathing and the secret, unspeakable lust for depravity that lies dormant within us all.”
  6. My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits by Jen Mann. Jen Mann of People I Want to Punch in the Throat: “My Lame Life is a great summer read for teens and adults because it’s a funny and endearing book that is entirely relatable!”
  7. Famished by Meghan O’Flynn. Meghan O’Flynn: “Famished is a bestselling psychological thriller that explores the darkest parts of the human psyche. Hailed as “Thrilling, emotional and depraved,” this novel is one you won’t want to put down.”
  8. Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. Stephanie of When Crazy Meets Exhaustion: “This one is part cookbook with fabulous, EASY recipes and part narrative by Jenny, fellow frazzled Mama juggling personal and professional responsibilities. When she realizes a family meal is the best shot at quality time with her husband and kids, so begins her journey to make it happen. Witty, relate-able, and educational (I learned how to cook things, you guys!) I went through Jenny-withdrawal when I finished the book!”
  9. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. Shari of Adore Them pick: “Jon Ronson is an incredible author who combines objective observations with his own take on these experiences. For this book he spent years meeting people who had been subject to public shaming. It is fascinating (& horrible) to see how one tweet could ruin someone’s life.”
  10. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. Kim Bongiorno of Let Me Start By Saying: “The story is told in alternating voices of three best friends as they begin their senior year: one knowing she is OUTTA THERE, one being OK with staying exactly where he is because he has his stories to escape into, and one not feeling like he can or is deserving of going anywhere but right where his father’s crimes put him. I felt so many things while I read this, but mostly that I will now read literally anything this author writes from now on.”
  11. The Most Beautiful by Mayte Garcia. Suzanne of Toulouse & Tonic: “I devoured this book about Prince by his ex-wife Mayte Garcia. At first I was afraid it would be exploitive but after reading reviews carefully, I gave it a try. It was so worth it. A great portion of the book is the story of HER life. It’s interesting and insightful. The parts of her life she shared with Prince are handled in a respectful but honest way. I feel like I actually know something about this enigmatic man now. I still miss him but 4 me, it brought a little peace.”
  12. Redemption Road by John Hart. Lydia of Cluttered Genius: “Redemption Road caught me from page one and had me guessing the entire way through. I don’t generally choose murder mysteries or thrillers, but Hart’s novel has me wanting to find the rest of his books to read more!”
  13. Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center. Natalie of a Turtle’s Life for Me: “Everyone is Beautiful is a heartwarming and humorous look at one woman’s journey through marriage and motherhood as she tries to find small moments of personal fulfillment. The epiphanies and insights she gains along the way are told in a light-hearted manner, but resonate deeply in a way that will have you thinking about it months later. I read this with my book club and we found we were bringing it up again even a year later, because it struck such a deep chord with us.”
  14. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Dani of Meraki Lane: “I loved this book. It explores so many emotionally sensitive topics – infertility, adoption, motherhood, and interracial marriage – and the author did such an amazing job of jumping back and forth between the United States and India. She described each with such vivid detail, and the story truly encapsulated the meaning of the word ‘family.’ It was an easy, yet complex read, and the ending brought me to tears. I highly recommend this one!”
  15. The Twelves Lives of Samuel Hawley by Hannah Tinti. Jana of Jana Says: “I LOVED this book. Dark and twisted and violent and a thriller complimented with a father/daughter/coming of age story told between alternating POV and bouncing back and forth in time until it all catches up to itself. It’s so well done and well written and I cannot recommend it enough.”
  16. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Kimberly of Red Shutters: “It’s the story of a family, torn apart by slavery. One branch of the family aids in the slave trade in Ghana, later becoming involved in conflict with the British, and finally finding their way to America. The other side of the family is sold into slavery and generations later experience an America of incarceration, poverty, and drug abuse. Despite its challenging subject matter, Homegoing is captivating, an extraordinary story about hope, connection, and loss. I couldn’t put it down, and when it did end, I was disappointed–I wanted more. That’s the sign of an extraordinary book!”
  17. The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles. Janine of Confessions of a Mommyaholic: “This is the beginning of a supernatural, romance YA series that struck all the right notes for me. Honestly, think it could be in the leagues of Twilight or even Harry Potter as the writing was superb. Plus, the storyline was unique, fast moving and heart tugging, as well. Therefore, recommend as the perfect summer vacation read.”
  18. The Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian. Rabia of The Lieber Family: “Lianna’s mom has disappeared. The most plausible explanation is that her frequent sleepwalking took her over a bridge to her death. But on closer inspection, that doesn’t really make a lot of sense. And the good looking detective assigned to the case is trying to help, isn’t he? So what really happened? I can’t wait to find out!”
  19. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. Anne of Once Upon a Mom: “I haven’t read this one yet but it looks amazing! It’s a story about a quirky kid with an even quirkier grandma who, after her death, leaves a a series of letters apologizing to people. I’m looking forward to finding out about all of Grandmother’s secrets!”
  20. City Mouse by Stacey Lender. Carrie of Normal Level of Crazy and Meredith of The Mom of the Year: “This defines a beach read for me! So relatable to our own lives as it is all about mom trying to find out exactly where she fits in the in the scheme of suburbia–all that goes along with it. Plus, when a book is described as ‘The Stepford Wives meets Bad Moms’, how can you go wrong?”

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It's here! The annual list of the 20 best summer books! All come highly recommended and are perfect reads to kick back with this summer! Plus, check out this incredible giveaway--100 copies of ONE book, a $250 Amazon giftcard and a bunch of new beach reads? Enter now!!

And that’s it, friends! Our list of the 20 Best Summer Books you need to kick back with during all the sun-soaked days ahead of us! As promised, the giveaway for a $250 AMAZON GIFT CARD and copies of some of the titles on this list (Red Water, Famished, My Lame Life: Queen of the Misfits, The Sleepwalker, Man’s Search for Meaning, Homegoing and Redemption Road) is below! No better way to keep your reading stash well stocked and you can use the gift card to grab some other titles that are on your own wish list. Sweet!

As long as you are 18 or older, live in the continental United States, and enter before June 16, 2017 at 5:30am EST, you are eligible to win!

It's here! The annual list of the 20 best summer books! All come highly recommended and are perfect reads to kick back with this summer! Plus, check out this incredible giveaway--100 copies of ONE book, a $250 Amazon giftcard and a bunch of new beach reads? Enter now!!

Also as promised, we are tickled to be giving away 100 COPIES of the favorite title our book club has ever read, This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel! Read the whole post HERE to find out why it is such an exceptional book, and then hop over quickly to enter the giveaway! Thanks to the generosity of Flatiron Books, copies will be sent to the first 100 people who enter the giveaway* (The grand prize winner included! The same giveaway deadline and rules as above apply.) We could go on and on about This Is How It Always Is, but to put it simply: it is important, life-changing, and beautiful. This isn’t just a book you want to read, it’s a book you need to read.

*Note: remember each person can gain multiple entries, so don’t assume that all 100 copies have been claimed when the entries total goes over 100! I will be updating on social media how many copies are left if you want to check in on this as the giveaway progresses!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thanks for joining us in this kick-off to summer reading celebration with this list of the 20 best summer books! Happy summer and happy reading, friends!

It's here! The annual list of the 20 best summer books! All come highly recommended and are perfect reads to kick back with this summer! Plus, check out this incredible giveaway--100 copies of ONE book, a $250 Amazon giftcard and a bunch of new beach reads? Enter now!!

***********************************************************************

***Thank you to Flatiron Books, Jen Mann, Kristen Mae, Meghan O’Flynn, Macmillan Publishers, Anchor Books, Beacon Press and Vintage Books for providing copies of the books for the giveaway. All opinions are entirely our own.***

Book photo in second graphic: depositphotos.com, Image ID:9056658, Copyright:belchonock

Last image credit: depositphotos.com, Image ID:13362963, Copyright:coolfonk

 

Learning, Exploring and Having Fun!

For the 4th year in a row, we’re going to be part of the  Gulf Coast Exploreum summer camp family. And that should tell you a lot about them.

Asher started going to Exploreum camps the summer he was 6. We picked up the brochure while we were there one day (we’re members because the kids love to go year round) and he poured over the “menu” of offerings. Then he got out a pen and circled all the camps he wanted to go to (hint: almost every single one).Gulf Coast Exploreum in Mobile, Alabama

Then last year, finally, Meyer was old enough to go as well and has been able to join the traditions of circling the camps he wants to attend and spending his days learning new things with new friends. This year in particular he says he wants to go to every single camp they have because it’s “my last year with Mr. Wayne.” You know a camp leader is special when your kid wants to spend time with him more than he does with you!

I love it because I feel zero guilt about sending them to somewhere they have so much fun and learn, even though they don’t even realize it. I swear it helps prevent the summer slide!

Stop the summer slide with summer camp at The Exploreum - @toulousentonic

Gulf Coast Exploreum Summer Camps are the best - @toulousentonic

If you’re located in Mobile, AL, I can’t recommend Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center Summer Camps enough. They’re reasonably priced and here’s a tip – join the Exploreum as a member and each session of camp is cheaper for you! Then you can take the kids to the Exploreum all year long when they say, “Mom, I’m boooooorrrrrrred!” or you just need to get them out of the house. It’s fun, interesting and you’ll adore the staff.

If you’re not located in Mobile, put the Exploreum on your must-list for when you visit. You’ll love Mobile, with its mossy oak-lined streets, its vibrant downtown area and all the wonderful things there are to do. If you don’t have a visit planned, put it on your travel bucket list. You might even want to follow my Mobile pinterest board.

Now get over to the Exploreum website (or their facebook page) where you can take a look at the remaining camps (different themes for each week for 4-5 year olds, 6-7 yos, 8-11 yos and 12-14 yos (which includes the exciting Airbus Flight Camp, where campers actually get to copilot with a professional pilot!). There are still so many awesome camps left, including the one Asher is looking forward to the most – Wizardry: Potions, Magical Creatures & Intro to Wizardry! Meyer is probably most stoked about Jurassic Fantastic.

Go check ’em all out and sign up now. You won’t regret it, I promise. Both of mine will be there until they outgrow it!

Remember to click like on this post before  you leave, share it if you know someone who might be interested in the camps or the Exploreum – and while you’re here, go ahead and subscribe to my newsletter so new posts will come straight to your inbox. You follow on facebook here.

The post was sponsored by the Exploreum but as always, my opinions are my own.

More Honest Wine Labels for Teachers

Open While Cleaning Out Desks
No Sharing Necessary
Celebrating no more paper work until August.
Allison Hart Probably too mean, but “Because you’re not paid enough to buy your own wine”
Enjoy your break from your students’ vomit
Because they are all geniuses until they go to school
Because you gave me your personal email . . .
Because everyone else’s thank you gift was a stupid wreath made out of crayons and, really, what good is that?
Those report cards aren’t going to fill themselves out
Because you still have to work all summer

A Mardi Gras Drinking Game for Parents

Today’s post comes at a perfect time for my Mobile and New Orleans friends – and many others who celebrate Mardi Gras. We’re deep in the “throws” (hehe) of it right now and I can back up everything my friend, Annie, has written below. You just can’t get through the parades without a good drinking game when there are children involved. Just maybe don’t drink so much you lose them. I can tell you from experience, it’s reeealllly easy when you have a dasher like I do. Anyway, I sometimes call Annie a better version of myself when it comes to my kind of humor so I thought you’d like to hear from her. Be sure to like this post and let her know you appreciate it. Maybe she’ll write some more.

Mardi Gras Drinking Game for parentsby Annie Strange

It goes without saying that everything changes after having kids – and that’s especially true for Mardi Gras. In fact, just yesterday my husband and I were reminiscing of our pre-children days.

“What would we be doing right now, before kids?” he said to me. I thought for a second and I said “well, it’s a non-parade day, so we’d probably be hungover from the night before…or still drinking”.

Before kids, there is so much time and space for debauchery, you easily lose yourself to the magic of the parade. After kids, of course there’s still fun to be had, but you also get to watch your kids’ eyes light up as each float rolls by, throwing magical beads, moonpies, and stuffed animals from heaven (usually from a dumpster – no REALLY – read this).

The hardest part though? The waiting. You want to get to a parade early enough for a spot on a barricade, but not so early that you burn out chasing your children before it even begins. For this, I’ve created a drinking game to help pass the time. Make sure you have plenty of beers or a large cocktail on hand, because this will certainly put you in the Mardi Gras spirit!

MardiGrashorsesThe rules are simple: just take a sip (or shot if you’re feeling crazy) whenever:

 Your child whines for a cheap light up toy for sale

 You or your child has to use a heavily soiled port-o- potty

 You or your child eats a food on a stick

 A motorcycle drives by

 Someone jumps the barricade

 Your kid asks when the parade is coming

MardiGrasvendorTwo sips/shots whenever:

 You lose a child

 A horse shits in the street

 Your child gets stuck in the barricade

 You see someone pre-beading

 Your kid gets in a fight over a spot on the barricade (extra sip if they’re fighting an adult)

 Your child tries to eat an old, smashed moonpie from the previous night’s parade

DirtyBeargraphicFinally, down a whole beer whenever you see someone walking around, confused, still in their tux/ball

gown from the night before. That person is winning at Mardi Gras. And now, so are you!

Be sure to share this game with every struggling parent along the route. And of course, make sure to

drink and parent responsibly (perhaps ask your babysitter to come along).

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