mine + ours: books

By Emily.

Kicking off a recurring book series today! I’ve been sharing my book recs on my Fryday posts for years so if you need a whole bunch you can read them all here. But today is all about books for you to enjoy as well as your little ones. With pros and cons and any reading suggestions I might have along the way. I should also note how I rate my books so we’re on the same page.


1-star book: I hated both the story, the writing, and everything in between. 2-star:  I either hated the story or the writing, maybe one or the other was okay or bearable, but not both. 3-star: I enjoyed both the story and writing. 4-star: I loved both. 5-star: The book changed my life, the way I view the world, the way I live breathe and think.

I do not give out 5-stars lightly! I think I probably have less than 10 that fit that criteria. So it might sound like I am being harsh to some books, but that 5-star rating is a totally personal thing and nothing against a truly great book. I would recommend 4-stars all day long and 3-stars to people I think it fits best.

Read to roll?Small Fry Book Reviews


BOOK: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi- 5 Stars. SUCH a beautiful book. Man that guy can write. I loved how he weaved literature + neurology together. Such an unlikely match that totally makes sense after reading this book. I bawled through several parts and was glad to be able to mark the passages that touched me the most. This book is super clean minus one part where Paul is working with a patient with a brain injury who can’t stop swearing. 😉 What gave it the 5-star? He made so many incredibly insightful points about life, death, and also having children. I don’t want to blow it so I’ll let you find the nuggets.

AUDIO: Eleanor + Park – I am such a sucker for Young Adult literature with a musical spin. If you’re gonna reference music and bands and authors and poets I am all ears. Warning: there is a ton of language in this, adult themes about abuse, bullying galore, which I never enjoy reading but the story redeemed itself for me in other ways. I am not super sentimental or even a romantic really, so I cringed a lot at their young love story. Even still she gets it right. She illustrates just how it feels to be in love for the very first time and just how different that looks for a boy and a girl respectively. This book got an Audie award and its super enterataining with multiple narrators, character voices (Park’s mom was a fave!) that allows you to really get swept away!


BOOK: This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe – 5 Stars. If you are looking for a way to open your child’s horizons without totally bursting their naive safe bubble and outlook on the world– this is for you. It’s tame, but still realistically shows one day in the lives of 7 different kids (aged 4-11) from around the world. Where the sleep, what they eat for breakfast lunch and dinner, what school likes and more. Beautiful illustrations too! My kids were mesmerized.

AUDIO: Wonder is coming out in theaters soon and it reminded me that I had always wanted to read it to my boys! When we played it in the car or while they played in the kitchen (Alexa is practically family at this point) the boys were SILENT. The story captured them and they tuned in no matter what they were doing beforehand, I loved it! It’s a little advanced for them in some parts and I found that they really only held interest in the August and Jack Will sections so we skipped passed some (Via, Justin chapters specifically) but they never seemed like they were confused in the story. The multiple narrators helped the boys keep things straight too which was nice. It’s such an important book for any age to read. Catch it on audio here.

Can’t wait to hear your recs and if you like these titles, too!

Certified Fair Trade Woven Tote

Photos by Hunter Fowler.

Petunia Pickle Bottom killing the game once again! They sent this amazing tote my way to celebrate their launch of the new Certified Fair Trade Woven Tote! It JUST went live so hurry over and grab them as they anticipate a quick sell out. (Also let it be known I made it 5 years without putting fresh flowers in a purse, that has to be some kind of blogging record. 😉Petunia Pickle Bottom Tote

Each tote is hand-woven and unique, its got a ton of room inside and its really sturdy. Woven bags can feel fragile, this is not one of those bags. There are two woven interior bottle pockets, easily transitioning to water bottle pockets or cups of soda, fresh florals, whatever your pleasure. Petunia Pickle Bottom ToteThis darling little drawstring backpack drops right in or you can bring it separately-  perfect for storing toys, or diaper changing gear, or your personal belongings to swap in and out of bags. It comes with their PPB branded wipes case – this one is opaque so you can tell when you’re running out, a removable washable changing pad. The shoulder straps drop down inside the bag so its easy to store. And it comes with these leather stroller staps so you can go hands free when you’re out and about.Petunia Pickle Bottom Tote

Don’t forget the Pom Pom. Spot on color palette and such great accessory to edge out this pretty bag!Petunia Pickle Bottom Tote

Petunia Pickle Bottom has the whole diaper bag thing on lock and they always think of details I’m so glad to have. I used their Pathway Pack the last year and have loved it and am thrilled to carry this chic woven bag for Summer! No one would ever guess it was a diaper bag, that is for sure!Petunia Pickle Bottom Tote RUN RUN RUN to grab this bag – you can find it here!


Bag // Shoes // Sunnies // Dress (on sale!) ack, sold out already, but here’s a few more options I love!


Embroidered Lace Panel //  Blue Gauzey Amazingness // Black Embroidered // Technicolor Dress of Dreams (comes in black too!) // Linen Striped Jumpsuit – with a jean jacket? SO killer. // Just realizing the complete lack of dresses with suspenders. // UGH!! AMAZINGness, under $100 and comes in 4 colors. // I have a lot of buddies with this dress and its so pretty on every single figure.

hiking with belVita

Now it’s Summer we’ve been loving taking time each day to just go explore. Drive to a new park, head up into the mountains. Today we’re teaming up with belVita Protein Soft Biscuits to share how we hike to make it fun every step of the way!Best Local Hikes for KidsLately we’ve been snacking on belVita Protein Biscuits since they’re a good source of protein: 10 grams and they taste like dessert!! If you’ve tried as many protein snacks out there as I have you know it’s hard to find that combo! Best Local Hikes for KidsI knew this would be the perfect hiking food because it’s pre-packaged (easy to grab and store!) Here’s what we like to take on our hikes: water of course, snacks, sunscreen sticks for easy reapplication, an instant camera so the kids can grab memories along the way and little jars for their collections.Best Local Hikes for KidsYou can find the jars in glass or plastic so they’re easy to transfer, but we love that they don’t damage whatever they find and we can easily display them after to remember the adventure!Best Local Hikes for KidsWhat snacks do you like to bring along on your outings? The belVita Protein Oats, Honey & Chocolate flavor we snagged is sure to be a hit. Sometimes when you eat something high in protein the taste is off. This is delicious!! Other positives to note: the cookie still has a little softness and crunch, so it you’re not gnawing on a stale cracker, it has a very distinct cookie slash biscuit vibe happening!Best Local Hikes for KidsWe’ve officially stocked the hiking backpack with these babies and for your pinning or screen-shotting pleasure, keep scrolling our favorite local hikes for kids!  You can buy belVita at any store and we LOVE the blueberry almond flavor as well if you want a chocolate free option!Best Local Hikes for Kids

Find the belVita Protein Soft Baked Biscuits here and at your local grocery store!Hiking Tips

Locals if you need some good hikes for any ages here are some favorites around town!

1. Rocky Mouth Waterfall: Rocky Mouth Waterfall is a very short and sweet hike to a nice sized waterfall. Kids can get right under the falls or play in the shallow pools just below the falls. The trailhead starts in a residential neighborhood. As you walk keep your eye out for the two tiny caves the kids will have fun crawling in. Although its short its at a steady incline so take your time. Info here.

2. Big Springs Hollow: The Big Spring Hollow trail near Provo is so scenic! So good for toddlers! This trail is located up the South Fork branch off of Provo Canyon. Info here. 

4. Battle Creek Falls: This hike might be the hardest on the list as the end gets pretty steep. But the waterfall is tall and powerful and theres a stream to trek along the way. Totally doable for your smaller kids! Info here. 

5. Scout Falls: This hike is harder and longer then some for sure, but still only about 40 minutes up. So beautiful! We’ve heard there’s still snow there so be sure to get some good tread shoes on! Info here.

This post is sponsored by belVita through their partnership with POPSUGAR.  While I was compensated to write a post about belVita, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

4th of July Fashion

The true test of 4th of July fashion for me is whether or not we can wear the pieces again. I am all about getting festive and dressing for a theme if I know its a long term investment instead of going in the donate bin. Here’s cute pieces for the whole fam – not necessarily to be worn together, but great starts to Patriotic outfits! Happy FRYDAY!!4th of july fashion

DUDES: This button down comes in about 15 patterns and are all under $30. If your man loves a wild shirt check these out! // Drawstring Shorts //

LADIES: Wooden Red Slide Clog (crazy Zara sale!) // Satin Bow Slides (sale too!) // Red Ruffle Stripe Top //

BOY: Red + Blue swim trunks // Stars + Stripes Flip Flops // Blue Hat // Striped Swim Shorts //

GIRL: Stripe drawstring pants // Wing Sandals // Stars + Stripes Flip Flops // Festive Socks // Denim Tank Romper //

BABY: J&J Stripe Tank // Mickey Mouse Sneakers // 3 Pack Jumpsuit Set ($19.99!!) // Star Rash Guard One Piece // Striped Henley One Piece // Bloomer + tank set // Freshly Picked T-Straps

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