Loving and Learning Lately {7}

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Welcome to Round 7 of this new little series I started of all the things in life I’m loving and learning lately! Here you’ll find everything from the books I’m currently reading to the products I’m loving to the shows I’m watching (which, spoiler alert–won’t be very many or very exciting, since I’m not a huge t.v. or movie watcher). If you want to check out past editions of the series, click here. Note: There are affiliate links in this post, which means I get a small percentage of any sale made at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting To Love and To Learn!

Loving Lately

  • I’ve been a big fan of Ultimate Bundles for a really long time, and there are 3 bundles I secretly wait excitedly for every year—The Blogger’s Bundle (which I bought last year that had sooooo much awesome information in it on all things blogging), the Photography Bundle, and the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle (which was the first bundle I ever got). If you’re late to the game, Ultimate Bundles is a chance to pick up dozens and dozens of ecourses, ebooks, online subscriptions, etc. for a fraction of the cost you would pay if you were to buy them all separately. I was excited to see that they’re running their Ultimate Homemaking Bundle for a second time this year in a flash sale, which only goes until Tuesday night before it is no longer available (ever). I’m STILL going through loads of good stuff from the Homemaking Bundle I picked up forever ago. I personally go for the homemaking bundle mostly for the meal plans and household routines/decluttering courses, but there’s lots of other stuff to love there too, like parenting help, fitness programs, etc. Anyway, if you’re interested, that Homemaking Bundle is currently on sale for just $29.97.

Get your bundle now!

  • My husband and I aren’t big t.v. watchers, but the one show we have absolutely been watching the second it becomes available is Relative Race, which we’ve been tuning into since Season 1. Basically, it’s a reality show where four teams race over a 10-day period to complete challenges, drive around the country (using only maps–no smartphones), and meet relatives along the way. In the beginning, it was mostly just people meeting distant cousins and such, but ever since Season 2, there has been at least one contestant on it who has made huge personal discoveries about close relatives—people who have met their biological parents, siblings, etc. (who never had known who they were before). It’s completely addicting! Anyone else a fan?

  • Although I’m actually kind of dreading winter (I basically do every year), I *am* pretty stoked about it being soup season again! I’ve already been trying out some real winners (mostly from the cookbook I’m trying to cook my way all the way through–The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner), but I’m excited to get some of our tried-and-true favorites back into the rotation again too, like this recipe for creamy chicken noodle soup that’s my husband’s absolute favorite (and a total hit with our sometimes-picky toddler), or this recipe for cheesy chicken chowder (that’s one of my most pinned recipes).

Learning Lately

Current Books

The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel

I talked more about this title in the book round-up I just did (of books that have made me a better parent), but I figured I’d mention it again here since I’m still in the middle of it. Basically, it’s a science-based approach of how to raise emotionally healthy and resilient kids and of how to “integrate” the functions of the left and right sides of the brain better so that one doesn’t totally dominate. Right now, ever since we added a second child, our oldest has been displaying some tricky behaviors. This book is giving me several concrete strategies (along with the research backing them) to employ, which has been enormously helpful.

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

I’ve read a decent number of Kingsolver’s books and have always admired her writing style, so I was excited to hear that she’d come out with a new book this year (especially as it had been six years since she’d released anything). Admittedly, I just started this title last night, but the opening scene of a woman (who we can already sense has some serious baggage) being told her recently acquired home is a shambles that can’t be repaired already has me intrigued. It’s been like reading a fixer-upper story with a much more literary (and intense) plot!

Deep Work by Cal Newport

Yes, I’m still reading this (most of my self-help/productivity nonfiction titles always take me awhile to get through). As it’s part of my self-assigned reading for this “term,” I should hopefully have this read by my self-imposed deadline of the 25th of this month. So far I’ve really been enjoying the thoughts and suggestions in this, though I’ve decided it’s extremely hard to put many of them into practice during this particular season of my life.

Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

I also mentioned this on my recent parenting book round-up, but this is one that I haven’t read yet. I actually just got it from the library this last weekend and have only started scanning the glossary at the front of French parenting terms, but I’m excited to have another memoir to read. Memoir happens to be the genre I seem to burn through the quickest, so I’m always happy to find another one that looks interesting to me because it usually means my reading life is going to pick up a bit more over the next several days! (For a list of some of my favorite memoirs you can polish off in a weekend, click here.)

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Another Assigned Reading book “due” on the 25th that is yet again on this list (can you tell my reading life has been a bit slow the past several weeks?). While I am enjoying this middle grade mystery well enough, it is reminding me that it’s hard to find a book written for children/young teens that appeals as much to me as an adult as it would to a kid. While I think the target audience would absolutely love this title, it’s netting about 3 stars for me at the moment (at about halfway through). I think I’m due to write a post on middle grade and YA picks that appeal as much to adults as to their target audience. Whaddya think?

And that’s a wrap! What are you reading lately? And what are your favorite young adult titles that appeal to you as much as an adult as they would to their target audience?