What I’ve Been Up To Lately

I mentioned in my Anticipating November blog that I’ve been working on a few projects.  Mainly, it’s been a bunch of purging, but I’ve also been updating a few rooms.  One of those rooms is our library/my office.  Just last year, we turned my office into a library, but I took it a step further this month and now it’s more library than an office.

Before

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After

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All of the new furniture is from IKEA.  The chair is Ecktorp and the bookshelves are Billy. I love curling up in that chair and reading a book.  And, there is room to grow and room for some of Sam’s toys (because we spend a lot of time in here). The puzzle that I did a month or two ago is now framed and above the chair.  I still have a few things to put on the wall, but I’m really happy with the way it all turned out!

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October Favorites

Each month seems to be going by so quickly!  On to my September favorites!

Book of the Month

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I really enjoyed reading this book, even though it was shorter than books I normally read!  It was a delightful collection of essays about reading.  They were so relatable!  I wrote a full review here.

Baby

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Sam seems to be entering the teething phase, so when we have reading time, most of the books end up in his mouth.  On a curious whim, I searched for chew-proof books, and this came up.  So, I bought one, and I love it!  They are five bucks and really are rip and chew proof.  You can check them out here.

Beauty and Fashion

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When I was pregnant, my skin would get super dry, but I wanted a moisturizer that would be safe for me and the baby (and with my anxiety, this was almost an obsessive search).  This is what was recommended, and I’ve continued using it all year.  It isn’t greasy and makes my skin feel great.  If I don’t put it on, especially on drier days, I can feel my skin dry out and tighten.  As we approach winter, this is definitely a good buy.  You can check it out here.

Entertainment

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There haven’t been a lot of shows that I’ve wanted to watch lately.  Even some of the shows that are coming back that I’ve enjoyed in the past.  Having a baby is one good measuring stick for priorities and interests (although it’s not the only one, it’s been a good one for me).  So, when I look forward to each episode of Manifest every week, it says something.

The premise is that a plane disappears for five years but the passengers didn’t age.  In fact, from their experience, it was just a simple flight.  So there is the grief of losing five years, people on the ground moving on, and all that.  And then on top of that, there is a supernatural element as the people on the plane start developing these insight powers, like knowing something is going to happen or where certain things are hidden.  Plus, a lot of the premise is based on Romans 8:28, which is a neat little fact.  Really enjoying it so far.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

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September Favorites

Each month seems to be going by so quickly!  On to my September favorites!

Book of the Month

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This was my first book written by Victoria Schwab that I’ve read, and I absolutely loved.  I wrote a review here.  I’ve already read two more books by this author.  Reviews coming soon!

Baby

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I think I, unfortunately, passed on my allergies and sinus issues to my son.  These Boogie Wipes

really came in handy this month!

Beauty and Fashion

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On a whim, I found these Garnier Fructis hair masks at Target and decided to try them.  I used it once a week and loved the avocado mask for the frizziness due to the humid weather here in Texas.  I just got the papaya mask to try next.  I can really tell a difference after using it, even into the next day (I don’t wash my hair every day so a product that lasts two days or more is worth talking about!).

Entertainment

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I watched this movie the day after I posted my August Favorites.  And I would have changed it if I could.  I absolutely loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  It’s about a community, books, and World War II on a little island between England and France in the English channel.  I loved all of the characters, but Amelia was my favorite.  The book is definitely on my Want to Read list now.  Five stars.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

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August Favorites

This month is a little different because a lot of these favorites are from small businesses that I’ve found and loved.  Small disclaimer, I’m not sponsored by any of these companies, but I am an Amazon affiliate, more about that on my About Page.  So here we go!

Book of the Month

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Point Blank by Alan King was my favorite reviewed book this month.  This book of poetry could not have come at a better time for our culture right now.  I wrote a review here, but I highly recommend purchasing this book or the ebook on Amazon here.

Baby

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I found Declan Roe in my research for my Continuing the Conversation post last week.  I loved what they are doing so much that I purchased the sweet button romper above.  Basically, 15% of the proceeds go to an organization called Bundled Blessings that help couples with IVF treatments or adoption.  With adorable clothes (even for boys) and a precious cause, how could I not love this?

Beauty and Fashion

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At the farmer’s market, I saw this booth, Simple Suds and Stuff, selling laundry detergent and alpaca dryer balls.  I loved the business owner’s passion for wanting to know every ingredient that goes into the products she uses.  I was intrigued, even more so when I found out that one of the scents she was selling was Peppermint.  I love all things mint, so I decided to try it.  That week, Sam had one of his incredible blowouts on a white onesie.  This detergent made it look brand new without dimming the lettering on the front of the onesie!  I am sold.  She also has the lavender scent, and who doesn’t like lavender smelling sheets?

Entertainment

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And finally, if you are wanting a cute, sweet, light rom-com, I highly recommend To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix (which was originally a book by the same name).  It follows a girl named Lara Jean who writes a letter to a crush in order to process that crush, and then she addresses it and hides it in a hat box.  But somehow, the letters get out, and all chaos ensues.  I was actually hesitant to watch this because I didn’t want to watch something with a lot of tension.  But I was pleasantly surprised at how much comedy balances out the drama.  Five stars.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

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July Favorites

And here we are at the end of July, already.  I feel like the days are long but the weeks are so short.  Here are my July Favorites.

Book of the Month 91mya47ednl

Easily this month, Thunderhead was my favorite book.  It’s easily one of my top favorite books of the year so far.  I wrote a longer review of it here.

Baby

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Since breastfeeding has gotten a lot easier, sleep has been our next focus.  There are some nights and days that he will sleep really well, while other nights and days I wonder if he will ever sleep again.  Our biggest culprit is that Moro reflex.  The one that makes his arms jut out in front of him like he’s falling.  Wakes him up every time.  And he now hates the traditional swaddles.  So, Michael’s coworkers suggested this and it works!  It’s called the Zipadee Zip and it’s my definite favorite this month!

Beauty and Fashion

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I used to love taking a nice, long warm bath with the bath bombs and bubble bars, but I don’t have the time to do this anymore (the boy is now the one who takes baths, and it’s sweet and cute and a perfect consolation so I’m not complaining).  So, I wanted to find a way to pamper myself without having to fill the tub, and I found out about shower steamers.  Now, these don’t work as well in the shower tub combos in my opinion, but if you have a square standing shower, it works perfectly.  And it lasts through the entire shower.  When I’m feeling particularly sleepy one morning, I pop one of the Bath and Body Works Energy Shower Steamers in and it is the perfect start to my day.

Entertainment

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During my walks, I’ve been listening to various podcasts.  One of my favorites is What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel.  She has different guests on her show, talking about various topics.  At the end of the show, the guest will give her a little insight into what they love, hate, and are reading at the moment, and Anne will give them a few book recommendations.  It has definitely fed my bookaholic nature, but I really love it.  One of the more recent episodes had Ian Chron on to talk about the Enneagram personalities.  It was like two of my fascinations in one hour long podcast.  Simply perfect.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

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June Favorites

The end of June kinda got away from me, so this is going up a little late.  So here are my June Favorites.

Book of the Month

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This was a tough decision.  Because I really loved Scythe as well, but this one takes the top place this month because of the pregnancy loss subject matter and how well it broaches that subject.  I talked more about that here.

Baby

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Breastfeeding has been such a journey for me.  All my friends were right, that about six weeks it got much better, especially with this product.  The Lansinoh Lanolin Cream.  I don’t use it all the time, usually just after a feeding or when I get out of the shower.  It is a lifesaver!

Beauty and Fashion

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One thing I’ve been loving at night after a long day of being on my feet (cause that baby loves to be carried and walked around…it has worked better than the Fitbit ever did!), is this foot cream, Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm, I picked up at Ulta.  I actually got it much earlier in the year, but it has been such a nice pampering indulgence lately.  And it keeps my feet so soft!

TV and Movies

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I got into a bit of a rom-com binge on Netflix, and I would highly recommend Set It Up.  It’s so cute, even if a bit predictable.  In fact, a little predictability was just what I needed.  Sometimes it’s just nice to have a non-stressful show to enjoy during breastfeeding sessions.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

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April Favorites

April is coming to an end, so I guess that means a little recap of my favorites from the month!

Book of the Month

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I had an incredible reading month.  I don’t know if it was because I finally put down a book I wasn’t enjoying or if my body is prepping for the baby and knowing that I won’t have a lot of time to read (although maybe I will, I’m hopeful).  But I managed to complete four books this month (instead of the one book last month).  My favorite of the four was definitely Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.  I shared a review of this book here.

Baby-Related

I’ve been ordering a lot of baby-related items this month.  Of course, most of them I haven’t used yet since the baby isn’t here yet.  But one item that I’m already loving because it is SO comfortable is the Abbyson Hampton Beige Nursery Swivel Glider Recliner Chair.  Michael and I went to a baby store in March and tried out all of the gliders/rockers.  This was a definite hit with both of us.  Plus, it reclines all the way back, which I think will come in handy sometime soon.  It’s probably the most expensive piece that we have purchased this year for the baby, but I’m thinking that it will be worth the price.

Beauty-Related

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I’ve been using the Aveeno Positively Nourishing Antioxidant Infused Moisturizing Body Wash for two months now, and I absolutely love it.  I think I’m slowly becoming an Aveeno fan (not sponsored, of course).  I use their shampoo and this body wash.  It smells so amazing.  It’s a mix of peach and ginger (I smell the peach much more than the ginger).  It’s a perfect spring/summer scent for me.  Plus, I really like the way my skin feels after I use it.  I was using another kind of body soap before this one that dried out my skin and caused it to break out.  But only after a few uses of this soap, my skin was back to normal.

Food-Related

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I saw this Twinings of London Buttermint Herbal Tea advertised at my local grocery store as a new product from Twinings.  I love their decaf English breakfast tea, so I thought I would try this one as well.  I have to be careful with herbal teas during pregnancy, but with just peppermint and vanilla as the main ingredients, this one was quite safe.  Usually, in the evening, I enjoy a cup of peppermint tea, but this is a perfect alternative when I want something that is a little different, but still minty.  The vanilla is not overpowering at all but almost gives a different, warmer texture to the tea.  And I don’t steep this tea for very long because the taste can be quite strong, but it’s really good.

What are some favorites you have been enjoying this month?

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