Products and Books I'm Enjoying in July 2021
Book Recommendations, Loving and Learning Lately

Loving and Learning Lately {33}

Products and Books I'm Enjoying in February 2021

Welcome to Round 33 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

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  • Okay, so we hopped on the bandwagon and tried Discovery+ this last month (mostly just because we wanted to catch the new season of Fixer Upper), and I was also super excited to discover that they had the first episode of Growing Floret, which is the documentary-style series that the Magnolia Network is producing on the flower farm that totally kickstarted my own backyard flower farm dream (which is going to be EPIC this year, you guys—I’m seriously so excited for all our plans!). Anyway, I really enjoyed the first episode and am eagerly awaiting more to be released!
  • File this under “Things That Were Finally Invented—All the Heart Emojis”—-Nabisco finally came out with Gluten-free Oreos! And they’re AMAZING!!! Half of my husband’s family has celiac, and they had his brother (who doesn’t have it) do a blind taste test between the GF and the regular to see if he could taste a difference. Nope—he legitimately couldn’t tell, and now that we’ve tried them, neither can we. This is seriously a source of some major joy here in the Meidell household 🙂
  • Ever since we moved to our new house, I’ve had issues with the Internet working well in our master bedroom on our desktop, which is where I do the majority of my blogging. Our previous wireless network adapter was pretty old (probably 7-8 years), so I thought I’d see if I could get a new one that would pick up a signal better. YOU GUYS, sometimes I feel like an idiot for not trying stuff sooner. I picked up this adapter for $16.99, and not only is my network no longer spotty and not working half the time, but it also picks up the signal WAY better and so my Internet is WAY faster. Anyway, this is just to say that if you use a desktop and the Internet is ever slow or spotty, it might be worth picking this up to see if it solves your problem.

Learning Lately

Current and Recent Reads

I’m slowly but surely getting into more of a reading routine again, which means I’ve been reading a slightly higher number of books than before (though still nothing like I was reading at the beginning of last year, when I was finishing 8-10 books a month). It helps that I’ve gotten a lot of books lately that I’m really excited to read, either used through Biblio or new releases (like Kristin Hannah’s latest—I can’t wait!) through my Book of the Month subscription. If you’re looking to get a brand new hardback release for some of the spring and summer titles coming out soon, you can go through my Book of the Month referral link and get one for just $5 right now, which includes free shipping (and I don’t think there’s a minimum number of months you have to get after, either—I think you could just cancel after the $5 book, though what I do is keep my subscription current and just skip months when I’m not interested in any of the offerings. It’s been an awesome way to get my hands on new releases at a fabulous price a few times a year!).

Question for you—would you be interested in me doing a post on some of the books I’ve been purchasing for myself lately to read soon, or would you rather I just review them here when I eventually get around to them all? Just curious!

Here’s what I’ve finished lately:

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Not every Backman book has been a winner for me, but when I find one I like, I REALLY like it! The book is about a hostage situation at a real estate showing, but it’s about a whole lot more than that—about how appearances are deceiving, about how maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge someone, and about how once we know more of someone’s story, it’s sure hard not to love them. Although I can see why some people say that they almost couldn’t finish because the characters are so obnoxious at the beginning, it really is worth pushing through! I finished this one in about a day, I was so invested.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

This book was a pleasant escape, which I definitely needed after a hard month and a long string of cold, gray days. While I love the REAL Jane Austen, spin-offs of her work or her persona are very hit and miss for me, but luckily, this one was a definite hit (and I suspected it would be, which is why I included it on last year’s summer reading list, though I wasn’t able to get my hands on a copy until recently). Basically, a group of Austen fans (many from her hometown) band together to save a significant part of her history/household from being sold off to the highest bidder. This was the kind of historical fiction that made me want to google how much was actually true, which is always a sign of a well-told narrative.

Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis

Lighter fare certainly seemed to be the mood of the month (which is a bit surprising, considering that I don’t pick up many love stories or “chick lit” except for in the summer, and even then, I’m ridiculously picky). For me, I’ve learned that I’m okay with romances only under the following conditions: 1) the book isn’t JUST about the love story—the people have motivations and backgrounds and make choices that all build up a larger narrative than just falling in love, 2) the book is well-written, 3) most of the romance is closed door (I don’t do steamy romances), and 4) the book doesn’t feel too “fluffy”—it’s got to have at least a *little* bit of depth to it. This novel hit all those points, and the only reason this didn’t get a solid 4-star rating (I gave it 3.5 on my Goodreads) was due to the excessive use of profanity.

I’m in the middle of about 5 others, but as I’m only at the halfway point or not even for most of them, I’m going to hold off on any reviews until next month.

Tell me — what’s something you’ve been loving lately?