Thursday, June 2, 2016

MAY RECAP | What I Read, Did, and Ate


There's been a severe lack of life-related posts on this blog as of late, and despite what my posting may indicate, I have done other things in the last month besides read. Although, reading probably accounts for about 95% if I'm being honest.

It's crazy to think that I only read 8 books between January and April, because I more than made up for it in May. Due to the sheer volume, I'm consolidating my reads into three categories: Must Reads, If You Have Time, and Don't Bother's.


MUST-READS

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana KnizhnikInspired by the Tumblr of the same name, I was pleasantly surprised to find this book full of depth and terrific content. It delved into RBG's most "notorious" opinions and dissents, including notes in the margins providing background, insight into why Ginsburg's words were so significant and translating constitutional law into layman's terms. This book had the potential to be really superficial, or boring and text-heavy. It was neither. The story behind RBG's legacy was approachable and well-written well. Highly recommend!

You Know Me Well by Nina Lacour and David Levithan | I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

I love, love, loved this book. LGBT teens finally have YA that resonates and I love that. This story of two unlikely friends who come together through San Francisco's Pride Week to help each other through relationships and life changes is so wonderful- I can't wait to read more from these authors!

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld | Being in love with Mr. Darcy (what girl isn't) and living in the Cincinnati-area, this book was a double whammy for me. I love, love, loved everything about this modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. By far, one of my favorite books I've read in a long time!

IF YOU HAVE TIME

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander (J.K. Rowling) | I read this in preparation for the movie coming out in November, and because why wouldn't I want to take another jaunt through the wizarding world of Harry Potter? Although I love any opportunity to be transported back into Harry Potter world, and this book did make me excited for the upcoming movie, it was too textbook-y for my taste, and I think would have benefited from some illustrations to give life to the "fantastic beasts."

The Chronicles of Narnia (#1-6) by C.S. Lewis | I may have overdosed on The Chronicles of Narnia series while I was on the road, listening to the audiobooks. By the time, I got to the seventh, I was done. They weren't bad and they made for the perfect listen for a long road trip, but I just can't bring myself to be as crazy as C.S. Lewis as everyone else seems to be. 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell | I can't even begin to describe how much I adored Fangirl and Eleanor and Park, so it seems that every book of Rowell's that I've read since then just fails to measure up. Carry On was cute, but not one of my favorites of hers and it was really difficult in the beginning for me to avoid comparing it with Harry Potter.

DON'T BOTHER

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding | I just plain ol' didn't enjoy this as much as the first. 90% was a series of misunderstandings between Bridget and Mark Darcy and I found it so frustrating and annoying. It did get progressively better toward the end, but not enough to erase the first 300 pages of frustration.

I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz | I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This book was nothing like I expected which is perhaps why I didn't give it a higher rating. I anticipated a warm, fuzzy story about a classroom experiment that drew a teacher and her students closer. What I got, was a book about educational reform. I found it to be slow at parts, but for the most part, well-researched and informative. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on how poverty, student mobility, and trauma impact students' learning. 

I think in theory, Schwartz was writing to an audience of teachers, parents, and community members, but in actuality wrote narrowly to her fellow educators. As someone not very informed about educational policy and the issues facing our students, I wish she had provided more guidance to those of us outside of the school system.

I would definitely recommend for friends in the education system, but maybe not as much for those outside of it.

> > >

Travel

In addition to having my nose in a book 24/7, I also took my first child-free trip to Binghamton, NY to watch my baby sister graduate with her Masters in Student Affairs Administration. Five days without Charlie had me a little homesick toward the end, but it was such a blessing getting to celebrate my sister's amazing accomplishment with her and my parents, as well as getting to see my high school bestie for a quick breakfast on my drive back home. 

Kelly's post-graduation dinner.

Stopping by for some waffles with Whitney in Ithaca, NY!

> > >

Foodie Fun

May was also the month in which we tried Blue Apron for the first time! My supervisor gifted me with a week of free meals through the service (which is seriously the coolest and most thoughtful birthday gift ever) and Chuck and I had sooo much fun cooking and trying new recipes that were completely outside of our comfort zone, but turned out delicious! Although it is a bit of a splurge, we loved it so much that we've decided to receive a once per month delivery from here on out. It's better than spending that money on takeout!



This General Tso's Chicken was something I never would have had the courage to try on my own, but was so dang good and not nearly as intimidating to make as I thought it would be!

Next up, was Red Quinoa and Black Bean Enchiladas. Chuck was skeptical that we shouldn't add chicken to the recipe, but I was adamant about trying it as the recipe called for. He wound up loving them and not even missing the meat!

I was out of town visiting my sister so I didn't get a chance to try the Seared Salmon Salad, but Chuck took the initiative to make it on his own and his words it was, "So. F*&%ing. Good."

Not a sponsored post by any means, but if anyone is on the fence about trying a meal delivery service, I would 100% recommend Blue Apron- we loved it and are so looking forward to our delivery next week! Stay tuned for more of my culinary escapades!

> > >

Bumpdate

Lastly, it wouldn't be a proper May recap without making some kind of commentary on the little alien growing inside my belly. Baby #2 (who does have a name, but we aren't planning to share until after he's born) is kicking up a storm and is making Mommy's belly sooo much bigger this time around than my first pregnancy with Charlie. See for yourself:



It sounds like such a cliche, but this pregnancy really is flying by and it's incredibly hard to believe that in just three months I'm going to be a mom to TWO boys! I definitely have a lot of thoughts on how different (and similar) pregnancy is the second time around, but not a lot of time to articulate them. Here's hoping I can throw together a post on this in the near future!

> > >

And shameless plug, if you want to follow my summer reads and escapades, be sure to follow me on GoodReads and Instagram. I may stink at updating my blog, but I'm pretty darn good at recording my recent reads and pictures of my adorable ginger baby, ever-growing bump, and culinary adventures!






No comments:

Post a Comment