Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Books I Read in March

I didn't read as many books as I had hoped to this month. I need to still spend less time on my phone after work and more time reading!

Today Will Be Different
by Maria Semple
I started out the month with Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. I enjoyed Semple's previous book, Where'd You Go Bernadette?, so I wanted to check out her latest title. While I think Semple is a decent writer, I didn't love the topic of the book. The character's life was not that compelling to follow along with and the surprise ending was not as shocking and unique as I had hoped it would be. I rated it a 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, but probably should have actually given in a 2. 

Wake up to the Joy of You
by Agapi Stassinopoulous 
I technically have not finished this book, as each chapter is meant to be read one week at a time. I have read six chapters and skimmed the remaining topics for this review. 

The author, Agapi Stassinopoulous, has a famous sister who is also into wellness and happiness: Ariana Huffington. I was attracted to ordering the book because it focuses on her passion for wellness. 

As the book description suggests, I keep it on my nightstand and read a chapter every Sunday night. The subjects dive into self-care topics like meditation, making time for yourself, and health. It also confronts commonly faced roadblocks such as pouring your energy into other people (which I am totally guilty of) or living in denial.

Many of the chapters end with a guided meditation, which is hard to follow and complete, so I would recommend getting the audio edition if you would prefer to use the guided meditations. 
Disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging
by Sebastian Junger 
I was drawn to this title because of the concepts of connectedness and community. One of the most fascinating perspectives Junger presented is that people actually felt more connected and even happy during war or post-war because they bonded with others to overcome triumphs. They had a tribe they could depend on. It seems like technology is actually isolating humans and disconnecting us. 

He also theorizes that PTSD is more common now than in the past because veterans are not as connected to the communities they live in vs. previous generations. Non-veterans (like me) also cannot relate to what veterans went through while in service, which makes it even harder for veterans to feel understood by their non-vet peers. 

The Art of Stillness 
by Pico Iyer
This was a short one, so I finished it one day. Iyer discusses the advantages of meditation and stillness in this crazy busy world. If you're looking for encouragement to step away from the demanding business of your life, like I am, you may like this title. I enjoyed reading many great quotes such as these:
  • Stillness is a "unclogging" of the mind's "arteries"
  • "For me a flight is just a brief retreat in the sky." -Matthieu Ricard 

Monday, March 27, 2017

My Everyday Life [Weeks 11-12]

Photos of the last two weeks coming at you this morning!

Said goodbye to Estee Lauder's Double Wear foundation and started trying this 100% super fruit healthy foundation instead.
I certainly do.
My friend Danielle and I met at Tofte's Table in downtown Waukesha for dinner. The food was delicious, service was great, and the interior was warm and inviting! I already want to go back.
Danielle ordered gulf shrimp and I enjoyed the grilled sweet potatoes with arugala, burrata, spicy apricot compote, herb olive oil, and aged balsamic. All of their dishes are small plates, so that left me some room in my tummy for dessert! 
 I rarely get dessert when I eat out, but the sticky toffee pudding cake sounded so yummy and it was!
 A view of the cozy interior.
 My number one guy!
Supported PBS with this profile picture on Facebook! Since we don't have cable or Netflix, I watch PBS 90% of the time. 
 I picked up this Kung Fu Girl riesling at Costco and it's quite nice!
 Learned about growing mushrooms this week!
This guy turned 11! I can't believe he is 60 in cat years. Whenever I am on my laptop with my feet stretched out on our couch, he sits with his paws underneath the computer. So adorable.
A shopping trip to Whole Foods. That Rishi Iced Chai almond milk latte was so good that I have been thinking about it three days later. I need to purchase the concentrate in the store and make my own at home.
I picked up lots of vegan products on this trip!
I highly recommend this Nada Moo coconut milk ice cream.
Went shopping with my mama and picked up this pretty spring wreath at JoAnn Fabrics.
 We visited my sister-in-law on Sunday. She's going to be a boy mama in about two to three weeks!