August was a great month.
We finally had a reprieve from organized sports (it’s literally the only month all year that Kieran does not have any baseball), and we traveled to the Denver area to visit some extended family.
It was my first time (and the kids’ first time) in Colorado, and it was stunning! The Rocky Mountains were quite a sight to behold. The kids were at the perfect age, too. It was a great trip. Lots of family time, lots of exploring and learning.
When we got home from that, it was time to start soaking up these last few weeks of summer before hunkering down for the start of school.
The kids had their first day of school this week, and it’s always so bittersweet to me. I adore them and sending them away everyday tugs on my mama heart, but it IS nice for everyone to be back into a daily routine. I know it makes ME a lot more productive. I thrive with structure.
Annnnd the fall season of baseball started up again, so we’ll be busy heading into that.
Other than that, we’re just getting our footing with a new routine and trying to soak up the warm weather before fall truly arrives (I can’t wait).
Here are some discoveries from the past month that I have been loving!
1. First up are always the books. I have been reading up a storm this summer. I’m almost on book 40 for the year, and I’ve been loving every second of it.
Right before our Denver trip, I finished Throne of Glass. You guys. I was not ready for this beautiful, emotional ride to be over. I felt hollow inside when it was over! I can’t believe I had put off reading it for so many months. Eight books is SUCH an undertaking (particularly eight LARGE books), but the story was SO good, SO epic, SO emotional….gah, it’s definitely up there for one of my favorites ever. I think I may have even liked it better than ACOTAR, which is really saying something. I was so attached to the characters and the ending…just wow. WOW. If you’re on the fence about taking on the world of TOG, I cannot recommend it enough. It is 100% worth the time. SO GOOD.
After I finished that up, I needed something to distract me from the sadness of it being done. I had been saving The Fourth Wing all year, and it really was the perfect follow-up to TOG. IT LIVES UP TO THE HYPE, PEOPLE. The story, the world-building, the characters…it’s all so freaking good. I already pre-ordered the second book, and November can’t come soon enough. I was obsessed with this story, and once again, felt sad when it was over. I’m so glad there’s a sequel coming.
After TOG and Fourth Wing, I wanted a little break from the fantasy genre. I read Enemies with Benefits by Roxie Noir and Homecoming King by Jami Albright. The first book was good albeit predictable (the title says it all), but the characters were really likable and I enjoyed the “can’t stay away” element of it. Homecoming King was one I REALLY enjoyed. I’ve mentioned this before, but I LOVE an athlete trope, and this one was so cute. I really, really enjoyed the characters, their banter, and the small town backdrop. Light and easy reads.
Then, I read The King of Wrath and The King of Pride by Ana Huang. I had heard so much about this series for quite some time, and I am not quite sure why, but I was not impressed. I found the characters to be unlikeable and unrelatable. I also found the storylines kind of boring? Maybe these were just overhyped or something, but they weren’t my cup of tea. I felt like I was reading the second halves of each book just to get to the end (like, “hurry up and be over already”), not because I was enjoying the story. I hate when that happens.
Next up: the most recent installment in the Blood and Ash series: A Soul of Blood and Ash. Gosh. It was so good. It has been a MINUTE since I’ve read anything from this series, and I had forgotten how much I love this world, this story, and these characters. The writing is sometimes a touch cringe (it’s not winning any awards, OK?), but the story more than makes up for it. Casteel Da’Neer is one of my most favorite characters of all time, and this book was a good reminder as to why I love this series. I can’t wait for the next one!
Up next on my to-read list: Duke-ing It Out by Jami Albright (a companion/follow-up read to the aforementioned Homecoming King), The Stars are Dying by Chloe C. Peñaranda (I’ve heard amazing things), Runaway Groomsmen by Meghan Quinn (I love a MQ read – always so funny), and Before We Were Strangers by Renée Carlino. I’ll report back!
2. I am pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but the EVOO popcorn by Lesser Evil is SO good. OMG. It’s salty and delish without any suspect ingredients. It’s literally just popped corn, olive oil, and sea salt. It is so, so good. The only downside is that I’m pretty sure you can only order it through Thrive Market.
3. My sister introduced me to the San Pellegrino Momenti seltzers and I’ve been loving them. The clementine and peach is my fave, but the lemon raspberry is a close second! They’re like an in-between of sugary soda and plain club soda. It’s sparkling water with a touch of juice. They’ve been so nice on a hot day! My kids do not like soda (or anything with carbonation), and Finn enjoys these. He’s always asking for sips when I have one.
4. I just went through a major organization overhaul of my bathroom. I had acquired SO many products and just STUFF…it was overwhelming. I sorted through everything, donated what I could, threw out what I couldn’t, and completely re-thought how I stored the products I use and love. I got this countertop organizer for all my skincare products that I use daily/weekly, and I like it so far. It’s a bit bulky, but I do love how it holds a lot, including taller bottles.
5. I bought some of these facial towels to try out, and I have to say, I really like them. The concept is to use one of these instead of an actual towel when you wash your face. You don’t risk cross-contamination on your face with any bacteria that may be lingering on the towel. They are super soft, WAY more absorbent than I was expecting, and I think I’ll keep using them! My skin is very sensitive to breakouts, and I’m hoping these will help.
6. One thing I’ve been trying to bring back into my routine is regular gua sha massage. I have this stone and LOVE what gua sha does to my face. It REALLY makes a difference. I was a little congested after our flight to Colorado, and I could physically FEEL the drainage happening when I did this massage. Kind of gross but also very effective. My goal is to do it 3x weekly. I clean my face, put on my favorite facial oil, and do the massage with the stone. If you’re curious, just Google a few tutorials on how to properly prep your skin and your lymph nodes for proper drainage. It feels so good!
7. I have been super into these Copper Cow lavender coffees. I know I’ve mentioned them before, but they are so, so delicious. I either use them as little pour-over coffees (as originally intended), or I cut open a sachet and add it to my coffee maker with a little regular coffee and brew a small pot of lavender-infused coffee. It is my current coffee obsession. The house smells incredible when I make one of these.
8. Does anyone else get excited about school supplies? It’s my inner nerd coming out, I think. While stocking up for the boys, I bought myself a pack of these pens (I LOVE a good pen), and they are my newest fave! It’s like a very fine point felt tip pen. They write beautifully, and they’re cuuuute (bonus!).
9. While my exercise routine mostly consists of hot power yoga multiple times a week, I try to sprinkle in some strength sessions along with running. I’ve made it a goal to start regularly running again. I treated myself to new running shoes, and I am obsessed. Not only are they so freaking cute (leopard!), but they are really comfy and supportive. Big fan.
10. I can’t wait for cooler weather. Mostly so I can start wearing cozy clothes. I bought myself a pair of these Nike wide-leg, high-waist sweats and I’m already obsessed. They are VERY wide leg and very comfortable. I can’t wait to lounge around in them this winter. So soft and cozy.
And that about sums up this past month! I hope everyone has an awesome September! Xoxo.
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