Monday, June 13, 2016

Kids READ with Bringing Up Burns

Our family doesn't do much in the way of "structured academics" during the months our kids are out of the classroom. I believe that they have the rest of their lives to study and work and compete. I like for summer to be about adventures and explorations, creativity and family, relaxing and enjoying! How fast the time flies when you can spend your hot, July days doing nothing but "silly" things like biking around the neighborhood, selling lemonade on the corner, swimming, traveling, barbecues and beach bonfires. Isn't that why we all have nostalgic feelings about summer as adults? We miss those times!

But for me, reading isn't a chore. Reading is a luxury. Books are relaxing! I want to foster these sentiments in my kids, so I do encourage them to read in the summer. Luckily, they all have found their own fondness for books, so it isn't too hard to convince them to pick one up. But it's always fun to have a goal or a challenge for encouragement, right? 

With that in mind, I have created a Summer Children's Reading Challenge. I tried to make it so that it would work for kids at any grade level. Pre-readers to Young Adults. ("Real" adults are welcome to play along too! I plan to read the books my children pick along side them.) You can click on the image above to download the PDF version and print it out. I designed it so that the prompts could be a coloring page and also a bookmark! Your child can color in the book once they have finished that prompt and cut along the dotted line to create a bookmark to use and check-off as they progress through the challenge. 

I picked 10 prompts since my kids are out of school for 10 weeks. Please feel free to have your kids complete them in any order they want! There is no right or wrong way to get it done. If you are on Instagram, you can post pics of the books your kids are reading using the hashtag #kidsREADwithBringingUpBurns so we can all discover new titles from each other! I absolutely LOVE finding new books to read from my #26BOOKSwithBringingUpBurns challenge, and hope this will do the same for children's titles. I would also LOVE to see some pics of the coloring pages being filled in, or bookmarks being checked off, as the summer goes on too! If  you are not on Instagram, you can always post your titles and coloring page progress on my Bringing Up Burns Facebook page too.

For fun, I asked my friends at Island Tales Bookshop to recommend some of their favorite children's books that go along with the challenge prompts. Here are the titles they suggested! (Click any image to purchase) 












I love our local libraries! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is take the kids for an hour or two and let them pick out books. Also, check out the OVERDRIVE App for digital access to thousands of eBooks, audiobooks and videos all from your local library. I love it! Works on iPhone, iPad, kindleFIRE and more. 

I hope you and your kids enjoy this challenge! Looking forward to seeing lots of filled in coloring pages...HAPPY READING! ~erin

Inside Out

I'm making an "Inside Out" cake for my nephew's birthday tomorrow. Focusing on these colors that represent emotions and thought processes and how we healthfully deal with our inner voices and demons has me all riled up. The horrific event in Orlando last night and today's varied response all over social media has me feeling saddened, confused, mortified, heartbroken, angry, desperate, determined, many emotions.

Here's what I keep turning over in my head...I'm not against guns. We own guns, shoot guns, like guns. I agree that guns don't kill people, blah, blah, blah. BUT...after 9/11, no one can get through airport security with even a bottle of water or their shoes. Things like box cutters and nail files and knitting needles and liquids are banned. No one shouts, "Box cutters don't kill people! Wine openers don't kill people!" We understand the correlation, the connection, the A+B=C of inanimate things and the LOSS OF LIFE that has occurred.

While it may be annoying, NEVER ONCE, do I question if my "rights" are being stifled or taken away when I have to check my bag because I want to bring my own bottle of shampoo on my trip. IT'S FINE!! It's a very small sacrifice to make for the safety, the security, the serenity it allows for. So what I can't understand is, why now, why today after so many LIVES LOST, are we still arguing, still NOT GETTING, this same logic when it comes to ASSAULT RIFLES and mass shootings?? Banning assault rifles won't end mass shootings. Just like taking off my shoes doesn't end terrorism. But it sure as hell would HELP.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Get UP, Girl!


Megan Juhl proving that good things come in small packages! 

Monday, January 04, 2016

January Book Releases

I'm going to try and post at the beginning of each month a handful of books who releases I am looking forward to. The hope is that I get around to reading them all too! But I don't know if I will be successful in that venture. Maybe these posts will help you round out your TBR lists or fit a 26BOOKS prompt you have yet to fill! 

The Past by Tessa Hadley (Jan 5) - Adult siblings reunite one summer to sell their grandparents’ old house and, unsurprisingly, there are tensions.

“A fresh take on a familiar story of fractious family reunions where old resentments resurface, new alliances form, and long-buried secrets are uncovered. A great read whether at the cottage or just dreaming of one.” (Library Journal, starred review)

Could work for: A book about siblings, A book you learned about because of this challenge, A book about a vacation or a road trip, A book that will make you laugh

The Good Goodbye by Carla Buckley (Jan 12) - Two cousins are in a horrible accident. What proceeds is the uncovering of a tangled web of lies spurred on by family rivalry, debt, desire and the darkest of secrets.

"Cousins as close as sisters, a mysterious fire, a tangled web of lies: It all adds up to a fluid, suspenseful story that keeps you turning the pages to find out what happened—and what will happen next. I devoured this novel.” -Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train

Could work for: A book with a murder or a mystery, A book about siblings, A book you learned about because of this challenge

And Again by Jessica Chiarella (Jan 12) -  Four terminally ill patients are given new, genetically perfect cloned bodies, becoming both restored and unmade by this medical miracle. 

"And Again was continually haunting me, and just when I thought I knew these characters, who are so vivid and singular in their desires and frailties, and yet so universal in their humanity, they surprised me once more until the pages were finished and I was left pondering our lives, our future, and how love still works."-Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here

Could work for: A book set in the future, A book you learned about because of this challenge

Smart Girl by Rachel Hollis (Jan 26) - The third book in Hollis' Girls series following Miko Jin, a hopeless romantic and proud booknerd who falls for her polar opposite - hot, smooth talking Liam Ashton.

"Hollis has the ability to craft characters that make me laugh, cry, and wonder if they are somehow living inside my head. If anyone deserves a 'Happily Ever After,' it's Miko!" -Erin Burns, friend and fangirl of Rachel Hollis

Could work for: A book you've been meaning to read, A book you read with a friend, A book that will make you laugh

I hope you enjoy these titles! If you read any of them, please come back and leave a comment on your thoughts...I'd love to hear them. What books are you looking forward to reading soon? 

Sunday, January 03, 2016


It's that time of year again!! It's no secret I am a proud member of #BachelorNation. I watch them all...Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor In Paradise. (I've even been known to find myself on the set of The Women Tell All) I do not discriminate in my train wreck watching! My favorite part of watching these shows is sharing the crazy with my girlfriends. We enjoy getting together on Monday night, usually with some form of cheese, a couple bottles of wine and LOTS OF CATTINESS. Meow.

The last few seasons, I have created Bachelor Bingo boards and we've had many laughs playing it. But this season, I wanted to do something different. Something that would keep us invested all season long. My husband is an avid Fantasy Football player and that got me to thinking...Why not Fantasy Bachelor? I took what I new about Fantasy from him, and ran the idea by a couple friends, and below is the game I came up with! My hope is that we can all have some competitive fun this season and work out the kinks in the game (I'm sure there will be some!) I've assigned arbitrary amounts to different "plays" your players can make - We'll have to see if the scoring really works with the numbers I've assigned in the end.

(Slide the bar on the right to see all three pages)

CLICK HERE to download and print you Fantasy Score Sheets!

Here is how we are going to play this first season...

Before the Premiere begins:

1. Everyone decides on a name for their team. Mine is going to be:

2. Everyone drafts 5 "Players" from the group of 28 Bachelorettes who they think will score a high number of points on Premiere night. NO SPOILER or REALITY STEVE READING!! You are allowed to watch official ABC previews of the show and read/watch all info on
(I plan on drafting a few who I think will be ringers and a few who I'm guessing to be villains!)

3. At the end of the premiere episode, BUT BEFORE THE PREVIEW AIRS OF THE FULL SEASON AHEAD, everyone will draft 4 Players from the girls who are left after the First Rose Ceremony.

4. Before this "Full Season Draft" - everyone will draw straws or pull numbers out of a hat to determine a draft order.

5. Everyone takes turns drafting their "KEEPER" and their "SLEEPER" - once a Bachelorette is chosen for a team in these categories, no one else may select them. *The person who drew the longest straw (or highest number) drafts their Keeper first and so on down the draft order. Then, the person who drew the shortest straw (or lowest number) drafts their Sleeper first and so on back up the draft order. So the last person in the draft order will draft their Keeper and then immediately draft their Sleeper. Does that make sense?

The Keeper is the Bachelorette you think will be your strongest player - maybe she's the girl you think will stay around the longest. Or maybe she's the girl you think will get a lot of one on one dates...

The Sleeper is the Bachelorette who will sit on your "Bench" during the first half of the season and will be allowed to enter the game at EPISODE 6 (halfway to finale) should one of your original 5 girls get put on the Disabled List (voted out) before this time. Maybe your Sleeper is the girl you think will fly under the radar the first few weeks. Or maybe she's the girl you think will stick around the longest.

6. Finally, everyone will draft their final 2 Players to round out their teams from the remaining pool of Bachelorettes. (The remaining girls after everyone has chosen their Keeper & Sleeper) These girls can be chosen by more than one team.

In essence - two teams could have 2 identical players and then their own individual Keeper & Sleeper. Make sense?

7. Each week, Keep a tally (check marks in the column next to the plays) of how many times your Players perform each of the actions during the episode. You will be following 5 girls the first night, so stay on your toes! (aka - watch that wine drinking!) In all reality, it may prove to be impossible to keep track of how many times they say "AMAZING!" but just try... ;-)

After Premiere night, you will only follow up to 3 girls each episode. Your Keeper and your other 2 Players through Week 5. And then Week 6 on - Your Sleeper (if one of your original 3 has gone home) and whoever you still have left in the game.

8. Each week, at the end of the episode, total up your points for that episode. Add them to your previous Running Total Points to get a cumulative total. At the very end of the Finale - the person with the highest total points WINS!!

We are thinking of having a League Comissioner - someone everyone reports their running total to each week (as we don't always watch together.) And I want to come up with fun prizes for the Winner and the Runner Up! (I'm thinking a gift card for a date night out or something like that...) I'm also thinking of adding a "Weekly Bonus Prediction" for a set number of points each week - that way, even if all your girls are eliminated early on - you still have a way to play and earn some points each week! Check back later this week - when I get these ideas ironed out, I will post an update!

I hope you enjoy Rose Duel! I'm sure you may have some better ideas on how to draft or how to score or maybe weekly bonus rounds to come up with...if you do, leave them in the comments and I'll be sure and take them into consideration.

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