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

Loving and Learning Lately {29}

Products and Books I'm Enjoying in October 2020

Welcome to Round 29 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

  • Amazon is running this awesome 3 for 2 sale right now (I’m pretty sure it’s for everyone–you don’t need to be a Prime member or anything) on a whole bunch of books and movies for both kids and adults. They’ve got Room on the Broom, Hocus Pocus on Blu-Ray, the whole Percy Jackson series, this cookbook that I’m eyeing, and a ton more. You basically just add three of the items to your cart, and the cost of the third will be taken off at checkout! (And, if this deal is anything like the last time they ran it, they actually might take off the price of the item in the middle, not just the lowest cost one!) You can click here to see which titles are included. I totally just ordered 9 items from this yesterday, many of which are for the kids’ Christmas gifts!
Let's Meditate App
  • I’ve recently been weaning myself off the anti-anxiety medication I’ve been on for the past year (since going to a deep tissue massage therapist has finally mostly fixed my back issues, which has enormously helped everything to do with how I feel). While I’m not struggling too much with withdrawal symptoms–probably since I was on such a low dose–I have been experiencing a bit of insomnia, so I downloaded the Let’s Meditate app (which is free), and that has helped me to get to sleep MUCH easier. If you struggle with insomnia, especially because your brain has a hard time shutting off at night, definitely give this app a try. My favorite two meditations are “Restful Sleep” and “Zen Breath Before Sleep.”
  • I know I mentioned my newfound love for the cash back app Ibotta in my last roundup (which I’ve now gotten nearly $65 cash back from, in just the past month and a half!), but I’ve also recently discovered that Smith’s does cash back too, in addition to their digital coupons. If you live in the Western half of the United States and have Smith’s grocery stores by you, download their app and go to the “Savings” tab at the bottom. If you scroll all the way down (past the digital coupons), you’ll see that you can load cash back offers for various products to your card. Then, anytime you purchase any of those products, you get cash automatically loaded onto your card that you can either redeem on later purchases or cash out through Paypal. Combining the Smith’s cash back app with the Ibotta app has meant that I’ve gotten things like diapers for dirt cheap once you count all my cash back. Definitely worth checking out!

Learning Lately

Recent and Current Reads

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Reading a few books in a row that can be categorized as “romance” reminds me why I don’t usually go for romance books. However, this was the kind of breezy, lighter read I usually go for in the summer, which is why I read it in the first place–I had put it on my 2020 Summer Reading List, and this is just how long it took for me to get it from the holds list at the library. This book is definitely reminiscent of the movie The Holiday, as it involves two women switching homes/lives for a few months while they work to get their lives (love and otherwise) sorted out. This was definitely the lighter, more fun read I was going for, but I wouldn’t categorize it as anything that special, and I spotted the ending from a mile away.

At Home in This Life by Jerusalem Greer

This was a reread for me since I just purchased a (used) copy of this from Biblio and thought it sounded like the perfect comfort read for right now. Jerusalem Greer is a blogger who felt a strong pull to move her family out to the country, and when she discovered that her husband felt the same way, they put their home on the market, made an offer on a farmhouse with acreage, and waited for things to fall into place. Except their house didn’t sell, and they were left where they had begun. This is a collection of essays all about learning to put down roots (even if your future in a house or area is uncertain), making the most out of whatever situation you find yourself in, and having the grace to accept that there are lessons to be learned everywhere, especially when things don’t work out the way we thought they would. The last half of this gets a little repetitive, but all in all, I find this to be a great reminder of the fact that home is whatever you make of it, and that there’s no use dreaming of a future “forever home” if you can’t even take care of the one you’re in now.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

I’m pretty sure I was assigned to read this in college, and I’m now positive that I must have never finished it and only read snippets for the class discussion because this book (especially that ending!) was NOTHING at all like I thought it was going to be. This is the classic story of societal expectations and duty vs. what the hearts wants, and while it took me quite awhile to get into it, once I was about 120 pages in, I was REALLY in. A classic for a reason!

Restoration House by Kennesha Buycks

I’ve been getting much more into interior design and homemaking books lately, partly because they’re the ultimate comfort read for me, and partly because we’re just a couple weeks out from closing on our new home and I have a TON of projects I’m super excited to take on once we move (as my last post showed!). This book combines practical advice (how to make a pleasing decorative table arrangement) with bits and pieces of advice on how to be content in the home you’re in, all while weaving in parts of the author’s faith and personal experiences with having lived in many different homes (thanks to the military). While the writing is a little too vague and generalized when it comes to the author’s personal experiences and story, I have loved looking at the photography in this and considering her advice for how to make a home the kind of place that’s a refuge for all who enter.

Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel

Funny story: I started this ages and ages ago when it first came out, but it was due back to the library and I am super particular about avoiding library fines at almost all costs (to the point where I’ve memorized all the grace periods of each library we’ve been a member at!). Anyway, with us moving and changing libraries and me needing to get back on a new holds list, yada yada, I’m just now picking this back up again. My only problem with books like this is that they tend to throw a lot of solutions and ideas at you but without much of a unifying framework to actually remember it all. I don’t overthink everything, but I do overthink some things, so as I’m going through this, I’m trying to take note of anything that’s particularly useful to me and remember those things rather than trying to really absorb the entire book deeply, if that makes sense. If overthinking is something you do regularly, this is a good book to pick up.

From the Blog Archives

  • While summer is the time for me to try out all the fresh + new book titles, fall has typically been the time that I return to the classics and to the backlist titles on my TBR. Last year I did a fun Backlist Blowout Reading Challenge. I only ended up reading six of the fifteen titles I posted on there that I was wanting to read, so this year I’m hoping to tackle a few more!

What autumn-ish things are you loving and learning lately? Any backlist titles you’ve recently read that I should look into?

(Oh, and send me all your gluten-free soup recipes, too!)

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