The past two months have been a bit of a whirlwind. Between our son finishing his swim season, hosting family, traveling to NYC and just general life stuff; I feel like April is going to be the month to pause. To resettle and to sit and enjoy the coming Spring.
Let’s start with books that I read in the last 8 weeks. There were some really good ones!!!!
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Books I read in February and March:
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (4 Stars): How family and cultural beliefs guide our lives and what that looks like when someone bucks the norm are themes that are all very prevalent in this book. If you are looking for a fairytale, this isn’t it. To me, the characters in this story were all so real (from a brother who never felt quite good enough to a mother who really never wanted to be a mother) and that’s what made the story. Imperfect humans, living lives together and finding some balance of good. I was drawn in at the beginning and enjoyed the story ’till the last page.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen (3 Stars): I loved Anne’s character and feel like, for the time period in which this was written, she was a trailblazer. Overall, the book took awhile to get into. The love story is definitely believable (and sad because of that). The idea of marrying for wealth and social status and having drawing room conversations only with the opposite sex is still so strange to me. Overall, I’m glad I read this.
- The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (3 Stars): Let me start off by saying that I’ve never listened to his podcast. From what I’ve heard, the style of this book is similar to his podcast. For a person who isn’t familiar with his podcast, I felt like he went deep in on a topic in each chapter and then went off on tiny segments that were off the wall. If you like science and history but also like personal anecdotes, then you might enjoy this. I thought it was weird.
- The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (5 Stars): I fell hard for the characters in this book. Some might say that the book was too long for the story but, for me, it was perfect. The story feels like a warm bath. It’s nice to sit and be and that’s what the story felt like to me. Loved it!
- Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and Raising King, Confident Kids by Hunter Clark-Fields (3 Stars): There were some great nuggets in here but, overall, I felt like the book was written for parents who have toddlers-early elementary kiddos. Since my kid is in middle school, I feel like I didn’t get enough out of this to enjoy it.
- The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country by Amanda Gorman (4 Stars): I listened to this twice and there are just so many beautiful moments in it. Lots to think about, process and hope for!
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (4 Stars): I read this aloud with my 12 year old and it was charming. Definitely a book that can be enjoyed at any age.
- The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen (4 Stars): I had a hard time putting this one down. If you are looking for a quick thriller where you can’t pinpoint exactly how the characters are going to play out… this might be it. Trigger warning: It does contain psychological and physical abuse. I didn’t feel like it was overly in your face about it throughout the book, but it was a theme.
- Thanks to My Mother by Schoschana Rabinovici (4 Stars): This one hit me close to the heart. Susie was 8 when the war broke out and spent years in concentration camps with her mother after that. Her mother hid her, dressed her to pretend she was an adult and, ultimately, was such a powerful example of motherhood (basically willing her child to survive). It was a heartbreaking read, for sure, but the power of love between mother and daughter was beautiful.
- The False Prince (Ascendance, #1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen (5 Stars): I read this with my 12 year old and we loved it. The main character was interesting and the storyline was a bit unique. Definitely a good book a middle schooler.
- The Kept Woman (Will Trent #8) by Karin Slaughter (2 Stars): didn’t realize this was part of a series when I started it. I’m guessing it would be better if I had read the previous books in the series first. Overall though, I thought the writing wasn’t great and the characters were boring.
BUYING INTENTIONALLY WITH HOME DECOR RECAP
I feel like I added quite a few things to my list this month. With trying to stay at 20 items or less this year, I’ll really have to watch myself over the next few months, but I’m so happy with what I did buy.
Ready for this one….. I bought electrical plates. =) I upgraded to a gorgeous brass wall plate in the living room.
Then, as I was prepping for the laundry room shoot, I realized that the wall plates in there stuck out like a sore thumb.
So, I bought paintable outlet plates and painted them. I’ve used the paintable plates in a few of our rooms with darker walls and really love how seamless they make everything! Here they are in action.
I spent quite a bit in February – sometimes, that’s just how replacing and refreshing areas of our house tends to go. In March though, I was restrained and just found a few things while thrifting two different days. I’ll share a before/after of the vintage basket find below!
Here’s my list for the year.
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 (Photo Below)
- 2 Vintage Baskets and Handmade Pottery Candle found thrifting (March) $22
Personal Tidbits – This and That
Since we got back from NYC, Luke has been interested in continuing to learn graffiti. He set it up last weekend in our backyard and it was a fun, family activity. The class that we took in Brooklyn shared that there is a newer product on the market for spray paint and that they have water-based spray paint now. Luke bought a set of cans which feels like a lower barrier to entry (because of the permanence of the real stuff). It’s easier to be low-key about clothing, etc., with the water based spray paint (just FYI if you didn’t know that there’s that type on the market).
We are running a 5K as a family in a few weeks. I don’t love to run but this 5k is at the Chiefs’ stadium, where you run all around, in and through it. You end up running out of the tunnel that the players come through at the end where the finish line is. We did it a few years ago (pre-pandemic) and had a good time. I’m expecting it to be similar. Challenging for me but fun.
My birthday is this month. I tend to always do a bit of clothes shopping for my birthday. I think it’s partly just routine and partly just because we are coming out of winter and it always feels good to switch over the heavy knits for lighter shirts and jumpsuits. If I end up finding anything amazing, I’ll be sure to share.
Basement renovation projects are coming to a close. Yay! I’ve been in contact with the woodworker who is going to build the built-in bar. Unfortunately, I think the date for install for that is June. At least I have a potential date now. Luke and I have made some recent progress in the bathroom down there, too. Once those two projects are done, there’s a few tiny decor-related projects and then the space is DONE. It feels so good to be getting close. I’ll share more on that soon.
Anyways, appreciate you being here and thanks for reading.