After a few busy months earlier this year, I was happy to have a somewhat slower month this month. If you missed Life Happenings in February and March - check those out. I shared lots of fun books and other home purchases.
I've been tackling some projects around the house this month that have been nagging at me. It feels good to get a few of them knocked off the list. One project that I've started brainstorming about is our sunroom and, in particular, the area of our sunroom that we have our office setup. This is Luke's desk setup:
The cord situation is challenging with two computers and a sit-to-stand desk which he moves daily from sitting to standing. My desk is a bit better but I'd say I'm naturally less tidy than he is. So, yeah... it's a corner of our house that I've been brainstorming about. I don't think I'm ready to spend any money on it but maybe with some decor, organization help, etc., it could be better?! Jury is still out on that one. Stay tuned!
This month felt like a weird month for books. I was just telling Luke that I thought I hadn't read much this month because I haven't been finding myself picking up a book at home that often. What I realized is that I was often in the car this month (maybe more than the last few months) and have been prioritizing audiobooks over podcasts.
In general, I would definitely say that I'm not an audiobook fan. I have a hard time staying engaged and really enjoying the book but I keep trying! Ha. I listened to three of the books on my list, below, this month which feels like a lot! Hoping May brings me more energy to hold a book in my hand and settle in to a book because that's what I really love.
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What I Read in April
- The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller (5 Stars): I adored this book. It was beautifully written and I felt like I could picture all the surroundings so vividly. The storyline follows a woman from childhood to later adulthood. She has to make a life-changing decision and, through that, you learn more about her life, her loves, her family, etc. I tend to really enjoy books that feel like real-life and this one had the great moments, the sad moments and all the in-between. Trigger warning: There’s sexual abuse in this so if that would bother you, I’d stay away from it.
- The Comfort Book by Matt Haig (3 Stars): I listened to this as an audiobook and feel like that was a mistake. There were lots of one or two-liners in the book that I normally would have underlined and marinated on. With the audio version, some of the book went in one ear and out the other. All of that being said, I didn’t love the book but also couldn’t relate to lots of the chapters where he was chatting about depression.
- Good Harbor by Anita Diamant (3 Stars): I’m trying hard to not compare this book to The Red Tent, which is in my top 10 books of all time. But, you wouldn’t even know that they were written by the same author. This was a sweet story of friendship and finding and growing in friendship later in life. But, it was just that, a sweet story. Nothing really moving about the book, but I enjoyed it.
- My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (2 Stars): This book felt like a slow roller coaster to nowhere. The author wrote in lots of “shock factor” additions that felt weird. If you want to follow a deeply depressed girl who is constantly on the verge of an overdose then this book is for you. Otherwise, skip it.
- Raising Critical Thinkers: A Parent's Guide to Growing Wise Kids in the Digital Age by Julie Bogart (3 Stars): This had some great takeaways but I feel like it wasn’t completely cohesive or as concise as it could have been.
- The Scourge by Jennifer A. Nielsen (4 Stars): Read this with my 12 year old and we both enjoyed it. It follows a courageous young girl as she fights against a disease and a corrupt government.
- Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (5 Stars): This was such a beautiful story. I read it with my 12 year old and we both enjoyed it. Lots of deeper themes within the story and all so good.
Purchasing with Intention
I've always tried to be clear that my goal for tracking items I buy is to be thoughtful with what I'm buying no matter the cost. Last month, my purchases were all at thrift stores and they totaled under $30. This month, I bought a cabinet from a woodworker and chairs for our patio and the price was much higher ($1600). All of this is to talk about what I value with purchasing and how I make my purchases... doesn't mean it's the right method for you. I'm just sharing as I go in the hopes that it helps me stay on track with consuming less and, potentially, inspiring you in the process.
Our absolute favorite outdoor chairs finally bit the dust (both had holes in them where you sat). I wish I could go back 8 years ago and buy those same ones at Lowe's but they no longer have them. Hoping we get the same mileage out of our new chairs. How cute are these?
20 or Less Thoughtful Purchases for 2022
- Kitchen Shelving Units (Jan) $650
- Wall plates - Paintable outlet plates for Laundry room and Brass Plate for living room (Feb) $55
- Couch foam and Feathers (Feb) $155
- 2 FB marketplace pieces: Kansas City Sketch + Tiger Painting (Feb) $215
- Guest bed upgrades : 2 Coop pillows + 2 Quilts (Feb) $620
- Towels (Feb) $304
- Handmade Walnut Plate found thrifting (March) $4.99
- 2 Vintage Baskets and Handmade Pottery Candle found thrifting (March) $22
- Outdoor chairs for flagstone patio + hose reel (April) $780
- Workout cabinet (April) $799
I'm hoping to share our workout space with you next week. It's a non-fancy home gym but I feel like we have products that have/are working well. So, if you are looking to up the function in your home gym... stay tuned.
Personal Tidbits - This and That
I had a birthday in April and you know what I asked for?! A weekend with no plans and good food. I didn't want to socialize, I didn't want to go to any events... I just wanted to chill, explore a new walking trail and eat good food. It was glorious. I sat outside on my new chairs and read, had happy hour and just had a weekend of downtime. I don't know when it was last that I had such a weekend. Typically, I get antsy if I have too much downtime so I must have subconsciously just knew what I needed. =)
If you missed some of the posts this month...
OMG your review of my year of rest and relaxation . . . it cracked me up! I haven't read it, but there's so much hype! It doesn't look particularly good to me. So glad you had an amazing bday!
It was Tracey's pick for bookclub (apparently, it's her husband's favorite author). I must have missed something... I just don't get it. LOL