How come it felt like it took two months for January to finally end but we blinked twice and then February was over? I can’t believe it’s already March!
In keeping up with this little series I introduced a couple months back, here I’ve gathered a list of the latest reads, music, shows, and blogs that have been filling my days.
One of my greatest gals, Jordan, and I decided at the beginning of this year that we were going to challenge ourselves to read at least one book per month. There were no guidelines to follow (i.e. we weren’t going to only select titles from the New York Times list of bestsellers, or the latest featured on Oprah’s Book Club). We just set out to saturate our empty moments with words — be that right before bed, during our lunch break, or in place of staring aimlessly at the television screen.
Since beginning this challenge, I’ve completed two books and a collection of short stories. I recently finished Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, an epic adventure set in, you guessed it, the heart of the earth. My manager recommended this timeless read to me since we both ventured to Iceland in 2017 (you can read my travel posts here and here), and a good portion of the story takes place in this wintry island country. Though it wasn’t something I would normally go out of my way to read, I absolutely loved it. The chapters were often filled with scientific terms I could barely pronounce, but they were also quick and digestible and the content kept you on your toes.
I’m currently four chapters into another adventure story, though this one authentic. Into Thin Air is the firsthand account of author and climber Jon Krakauer’s experience on Everest during the May 1996 disaster. I’ve recently uncovered an intense fascination with the eight-thousanders and the daring mountaineers who risk everything to ascend to their peaks, and reading this book is a result of that new-found obsession. I can’t wait to conquer it.
As winter begins to fade away and spring makes its welcomed debut, I’ve been in the mood for songs that put a little pep in my step. My oldest and greatest friend Alexa is known for her Spotify playlists, specifically the ones that are flooded with legendary throwbacks. Her summery BBQin’ playlist has been blasting on repeat in my car, on my runs, and while I’m doing mindless chores around the house. It’s filled with tunes you can’t help but sing (terribly) along to, like Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “American Girl,” and John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” to name a few.
It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with Vance Joy. He’s tall and handsome with a to-die for Australian accent. And, not to mention, he’s a killer musician. I’ve been lucky enough to see him live twice — once in Denver and recently in San Diego — and can report back with certainty that he’s 100x better in person. At the tail-end of February, he (finally) released his second full-length album titled “Nation of Two”. When I’m not listening to Alexa’s list of oldies, this is the album that you can hear blaring through my headphones. My favorite tracks include “Take Your Time” and “We’re Going Home.”
Lastly, podcasts! Most of the podcasts I’m subscribed to tend to fall under the True Crime category, though there are a few that I make exceptions for. “Terrible, Thanks For Asking” is one of those. I feel the need to put a disclaimer with this one: I’ve never finished listening to an episode without full-blown crying or at least shedding a tear. Host Nora McInerny knows loss as good as any of us. She lost both her father and her husband to cancer within six weeks of one another, and suffered through a miscarriage in the midst of it all. Though she continues to grieve, she has filtered this devastation through captivating (and often humorous) storytelling. She goes out of her way to share the difficult, candid stories of average people who have experienced the loss of a loved one, a friend, or a life they had imagined for themselves. She does this in the hopes of showing us that we’re not alone in what we are going through. I highly, highly recommend this one for a dose of humility. An episode I recently listened to that stuck with me was “Best Friends Forever”.
Since taking on the reading challenge mentioned above, I haven’t had the most time to dive into the long and rapidly growing list of shows I absolutely need to watch (according to everyone I talk to). My roommate and I tend to stray away from the mainstream, so only recently started “Younger” with Hilary Duff. So far, I love it. It’s the perfect guilty pleasure show — attractive characters, plenty of cringe-worthy moments, and just enough absurdity to keep you coming back for more. I was also home sick this past Tuesday and stumbled across “Ugly Betty” with America Ferrera and I’ve got to say, I’m hooked. I love that its centered on a relatable, less-than-perfect person making waves in an industry that initially slammed its door in her face. Talk about inspiring!
Liking & Following
Last month, I came across blogger Chrissy from Harlowe James. This interior designer lives in Sausalito, California and uses her design background to curate beautiful content via inspiration boards, design tips, and even recipes. Her aesthetic transfers gracefully over to her Instagram profile, that you can follow here.
On the Calendar
Where February was a more mild month for me when it came to celebrations and traveling, March is completely jam-packed. Every weekend has some sort of fete, including birthdays, in-town visitors, and St. Patrick’s Day! I love a good excuse to drink as much wine as possible, so it should come as no surprise that I’m most excited for a winery tour in Temecula, California for a friend’s birthday at the end of the month!