September 2018 archive

Currently September

currently

Watching: Fall TV is back! I’m a little bit of a TV junkie. I’m not someone who turns on the TV just to watch something, but I have a lot of shows that I watch loyally. I’m excited for my favorites to come back and to try out some new shows.

Reading: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m only about halfway through because it’s long, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

Listening: Forever 35. I think I’m late to the party on this podcast, but I’m really enjoying going back through their archive. It’s a podcast about beauty and self-care with a different guest each week.

Wearing: It’s that awkward time of year where it’s still warm, but not summer anymore. I feel like my summer clothes aren’t appropriate and it’s too warm to break out the fall clothes.

Looking forward to: Finally moving! More to come on that later, but I’ve been bouncing around for several months so I’m excited to finally get settled in my new place.

What have you been up to this month?

Fall Wellness Challenge

When: October 1 – December 31, 2018

What: Each week I’ll post a wellness related goal for the week along with an update of my goal from the previous week.

Why: Summer always tends to throw me out of a routine. With all of the traveling that usually comes with summer, it can be hard to stick to a workout routine and eating healthily. And keeping up with a challenge will certainly help over the holidays when we all tend to overindulge.

Join me: Follow along each week, and let me know what your goals are for the week. You certainly don’t need to have the same goals as me. My version of this challenge is for me. Your version might look different, and that’s okay!

Follow along: I’ve created a fitness/healthy eating Instagram account where I’ll be posting my daily progress and wellness efforts. Share your own progress using hashtag #ltfallwellnesschallenge.

 

Recent Reads Vol. 4

 

 

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken ★★★☆☆

Ruby grew up watching all of her friends and classmates die from a mysterious disease that’s killing most of America’s children. After her 10th birthday, she ends up at Thurmond, a government rehabilitation camp for children who have survived. Ruby discovers her powers while at camp, and eventually manages to escape.

I never really understood what was going on the whole time I was reading. I didn’t have a good understanding of the different powers children could have, there wasn’t a good explanation of how this happens and what’s happening in the country outside of Ruby’s story.

Would I recommend? No. I’d skip this one, it felt like a cheap knockoff of some of the better written dystopian series.

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin ★★★★★

I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

When Nina Browning’s son Finch shares a promiscuous photo of a teenage girl with his friends, she starts to question everything from the way they’re raising him to her relationship with her husband. The story is told from 3 perspectives, Nina, Lyla (the girl in the photo), and Tom (the girl’s father). I really enjoyed being able to see the story from those different perspectives because it let me into a lot of the story that I would have missed without it.

I loved everything about this book. I couldn’t put it down. The story line, character development, and different voices were all done extremely well. I was really able to put myself into the shoes of each of the three main characters, and I felt like I understood them.

Would I recommend? Absolutely! I loved every second of reading this.

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover ★★★★☆

When Tate moves to San Francisco, she moves into her brother’s apartment. While living there she meets her brother’s friend and neighbor Miles who she begins a complicated relationship with. It switches back and forth between Tate’s present day and Miles’s past, which adds an extra element that helps the reader understand exactly why Miles is the way he is.

Through the ups and downs, I was completely invested in Miles and Tate’s love story. There were some great twists that I didn’t see coming. The characters are well developed, and I felt a close connection with both of them.

Would I recommend? Yes. If you love a good love story, I’d recommend giving this one a try.

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter ★★★☆☆

After her mother finds herself in a controversial position after a shooting at the local mall, Andy ends up on the run until her mother tells her its safe to come back.

If you’ve been following me for a while or we’ve ever discussed books, you know that I LOVE Karin Slaughter. If she writes it, I’ll read it. I didn’t feel like this one lived up to her previous novels. While I did enjoy the story, it didn’t have the same captivating plot as a lot of her other novels.

Would I recommend? If you’re a Karin Slaughter fan, yes it’s still worth the read. If you don’t have any attachment to Slaughter, it might not be your favorite.

 

What have you read recently?

Recent Reads Vol 3

I’ve been reading a good bit, but life really has been a little crazy lately, and I haven’t had a chance to post a recent reads update. I’ll have another update ready in the next couple weeks. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my favorite batch of books, but I did get a great one in there.

She Was The Quiet One by Michelle Campbell ★★☆☆☆

I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Twin sisters Bel and Rose Enright start their sophomore year of high school at a prestigious boarding school in New England after losing their mother and moving in with their grandmother. While the sisters had never been the best of friends, boarding school tears them apart in ways they didn’t imagine.

I requested this novel because I really enjoyed Campbell’s last novel, It’s Always the Husband. Unfortunately, this one didn’t deliver. The dialogue was unrealistic. The characters were extremely unlikable. And the writing overall was honestly just bad. I would’ve put it down after a couple chapters had the plot not sucked me in.

Would I recommend? No. Skip this one, I suffered through the bad writing to find out what happened. It’s not worth it for you to do the same.

Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys ★★★★★

Joana, Emilia, and Florian come together on their journey to East Prussia in the hopes of finding freedom at the end of World War II. They make their way onto the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German military ship headed to Kiel.

I always think that I don’t like reading historical fiction. But then it’s always the World War II novels that I get completely wrapped up in and can’t put down. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard about the tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff before. The novel was very well written, the character development was well done, and each element fell perfectly into place.

Would I recommend? Absolutely! It’s heartbreaking and beautifully written.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon ★★★☆☆

Christopher Boone, an autistic teenager, sets out to write a book based on the murder of his neighbor’s dog. He numbers his chapters using only prime numbers, and thinks about everything overly logically.

This book really takes you through the process of thinking of an autistic person. And if I’m being honest, being in the mind of an autistic person is exhausting so I can only imagine how it really feels to be in that person’s shoes. I felt like I was reading a lot of it just to get through it more than I was actually enjoying it.

Would I recommend? Yes. Even though I didn’t love it, I do think it’s important for everyone to see the world from another perspective and be able to better understand other people.

 

What have you read recently?

Shopping Ban Update: Month Two

I’m two months into my shopping ban, and I haven’t had any real slip ups since I caved during the CJLA warehouse sale in July.

My skin has been all kinds of a mess, so I needed to invest in some new skincare products to take better care of my face. Since it wasn’t skincare that I was currently using, I didn’t have to wait until I was out of something. I spent about $12 total on a set of 12 sheet masks and a pack of 30 eye masks. I’ve been using the eye masks 1-2 times a week and the sheet masks once a week, and I’ve seen such an improvement in my skin. My face looks brighter, and no more bags under my eyes.

Wins

This month was not without temptation. J. Crew and Jack Rogers both had major sales. I went as far as adding items to my cart and going back and forth between colors before eventually closing out of the web page before checking out. Because as cute as they were, I really don’t NEED another pair of booties.

Losses

We’ve recently moved into a new apartment so there’s been a lot of furniture buying. I know furniture was on the approved list because I knew it was going to be a need in the near-ish future, but it still feels like a loss because even buying cheaper furniture isn’t cheap. Even though I’m on a pretty tight budget, I still feel like I’ve been picking quality pieces that will last.

Thoughts

Avoiding temptation is getting easier. Even if I find myself window shopping and adding items to my cart, I’ve been able to talk myself out of hitting purchase because at the end of the day, I know it’s not stuff that I really need. I’ve been a lot more conscious about my spending habit, which resulted in me saving a lot of money this month.