Products and Books I'm Enjoying in 2023
Book Recommendations, Loving and Learning Lately, Products I Love

Loving and Learning Lately {27}

Products and Books I'm Enjoying in August 2020

Welcome to Round 27 of this 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 may get a small percentage of any sale made at no extra cost to you.

Loving Lately

  • I’m in the process of trying to unpack and organize all of our stuff that we’ve brought with us while we’re living in my folks’ basement, and one thing that I’ve become kind of obsessed with is pretty fabric bins (I blame the fact that I read The Home Edit last month). I love these ones from Amazon so much that I’ve already ordered two sets of three (and am seriously considering ordering a third set of three), and I also am loving these shallower fabric bins that are meant to be used as drawer dividers (but which I’ve largely used to corral all of our vitamins and medications and such). The bins not only look a lot better than just keeping stuff in cardboard boxes (or, worse, just randomly shoved in the corner), but they’re legitimately making me more motivated to be tidier, as well. I’m obsessed!
  • I mentioned this in my last post on how I’m currently really working on losing the rest of the pregnancy weight from baby #3, but I’ll mention it again here just because I’ve been so impressed with them so far—I am totally in love with my Ellie fitness clothing subscription boxes, and I’m already counting down to when my next one will come (true story). Now, I’m not usually one to get into subscription boxes (though apparently maybe I’m going to change that, since I also recently got a 3-month subscription to Bookroo for our kids, and we are all loving that!), but when I crunched the numbers and considered the unpalatable thought of having to shop around in person for fitness clothing that actually fits me now, this subscription box has been TOTALLY worth the money. Not only has it definitely saved me cash in the long run (I’m getting nine good-quality fitness pieces–three full gym outfits–for about $10 per piece), but it’s also saving me the stress of having to go out and negotiate the stores with three kids in tow. If you’re looking for a few new fitness outfits at a bargain, they’re definitely worth checking out. (And if you go through my referral link, you’ll get 25% off, and I’ll get $10 towards my next box, so…win win!)
  • I finally gave in recently and got my first smartphone (I KNOW), and I also switched over our phone service to Google FI in the process. We were with Tello before, which definitely saved us a TON of money, but sometimes Tello’s service was a bit spotty, and we actually didn’t get ANY service down where we’re planning on moving, so obviously we were going to have to change. We haven’t tried Google FI’s service down in SP County yet (because we haven’t made the two-hour drive down there since switching), but the service overall has been quite good wherever we’ve been, including last Sunday when we had a picnic with family in the mountains. Anyway, if you’re looking for a low-cost cellphone provider with good coverage, you might want to check Google FI out for yourself.
  • I plan to do a dedicated post all about this topic soon, but I’ve recently been meal prepping Matt’s meals for the week on Sunday, since he’s living up in Logan (an hour away) for most of the week until the company he works for finally makes their big move down south. We decided to do this mostly to save money and because it’s hard to find many gluten-free options unless you go to a restaurant, but the whole process has also had the convenient side effect of helping my husband lose weight every week, which is something he’s been trying to do for awhile now. (He’s just two weeks in, and he’s already lost over four pounds!) Apparently my obsession with containers must be extending to food because I’ve bought these two-compartment meal prep containers, these deli-style containers, and am about to buy some of these plastic “mason” salad jar containers, and I love them all—it’s just so darn satisfying to see all those meals all lined up and pretty, and I love that we’re getting all these other positive side effects from it, too.

Learning Lately

Current and Recent Reads

I have hardly been reading at all since we moved, largely because most of my “free” time has been spent unpacking or organizing (or napping). I did get a library card to the local library here though and have started checking out books, so hopefully that means that things will pick up a lot more again next month.

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

I’m apparently on a Meissner kick because after I finished As Bright As Heaven last month (set during the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918), I’ve been putting lots of Meissner books on hold—I just really love how she makes certain eras come alive with likable characters, hopeful (but not *too* tidy) endings, and snippets about parts of history that I had no clue even existed. (Plus she just tells a captivating story!) The Last Year of the War is about two girls who become friends in the unlikeliest of places—a WWII internment camp, where one of them is Japanese and the other is German. But after the war, life takes them in completely different directions and decades go by without so much as a letter. The premise of this book is what happens when one of the girls–now an old woman with rapidly advancing Alzheimer’s–discovers that her old friend is still alive and goes to go see her to get some answers. Really a fascinating read, and after about halfway through, I couldn’t put it down. I already have my next Meissner checked out from the library and ready to go!

At Home With Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott

I’ve been following Jennifer’s blog–The Daily Connoisseur–for a little while now, and I was curious about this particular book that she’s published (which is just one of several). Basically, Jennifer seeks to share ways to “be chic” when it comes to homemaking in this book, and while a part of me sometimes struggles with how high she sets the bar, I have to admit, I’m getting tired of the exhausted-in-sweatpants narrative that keeps getting pushed on moms of young kids, and I like that she has a better alternative. I will say that this book has already inspired me to start getting dressed in real clothes every day (shocker, I know), and it’s also really made me change my attitude about a lot of other things, too. This book might not resonate with everyone–and there WERE parts that made me snort aloud a bit, just because the ideal seems so far out of reach right now–but all in all, I feel like it’s given me a tough-love-but-still-encouraging push to be better and do better in a lot of areas of my life.

Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy

A few of my friends on Goodreads had reviewed and loved this short memoir, so I decided to pick it up. This definitely fits into the very definition of “comfort” reading for me—it’s a memoir about someone living an “ordinary” life talking about “ordinary” things, yet it weaves in various strands of spiritual insights and growth and self-reflection that I just am very drawn to at this stage of my life. Basically, this is a collection of short essays set through the four seasons of the first year that Purifoy and her family move to a new home, and the fact that she just had a baby at the beginning of it all AND was dealing with a big move obviously just felt very relevant and relatable to me right now. (I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, but you can actually get this one for just $4 right now on Amazon!)

How is your summer going so far? And are you a fellow organizing bin junkie, as well? (AND TELL ME YOUR FAVORITES BECAUSE I’M NOT GETTING OFF THIS TRAIN ANYTIME SOON!)

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