Hi everyone!! Happy February!
January has felt like the longest month, but in the best way! I saw a meme on Instagram today saying “hard to believe that tomorrow is January 45th!” which made me laugh. Anyone else feel this way!?
If you’re a frequent reader you may have noticed I’m changing things up a bit with the title of these monthly favorites! It used to be *MONTH* FAVORITE THINGS + MONTHLY RECAP but that was a mouthful! Starting off the year sweet and simple with a fresh new title for this series: The Monthly Edit.
If you’re new here, this is one of my favorite posts to write because I get to reflect on the previous month and dish about all that I’m consuming. We chat:
- WHAT I READ IN JANUARY
- PODCASTS I RECOMMEND FROM JANUARY
- SHARING A FAVORITE RECIPE FROM THE MONTH OR INSPIRATION FOR THE NEXT MONTH
- MOVIES AND SHOWS I WATCHED
- PLACES OR THINGS I AM LOVING
It is FUN and I hope you stick around for months to come!
January 1st Hike
We started off the year on January 1st with a morning hike along the Chattahoochee river at a new trail with Casey’s parents. The trail was called Island Ford Trail and it was so peaceful being right beside the streaming river! There were also a number of giant rocks that formed little caves along the trail which was fun to explore in. A huge plus was the trail being kid-friendly as we let Blakely run half the time and ride in our hiking backpack on Casey’s back the other half. My in-laws even brought their dogs since it was dog-friendly as well! Definitely one to check out if you’re in the ATL area.
One big highlight from this past month was Casey and I took a trip with 3 other couples to the mountains of North Carolina to celebrate his 25th birthday! My in-laws so graciously watched Blakely for the long weekend so Casey and I could have a kid-free getaway. Our Airbnb was the perfect size for our crew and had the most breathtaking views of the mountains. It’s nestled in a safe, easy to get to location and only a 2 hour drive from ATL! Here is the link for it in case anyone in interested- 10/10 would recommend!
We filled our days with cozy cabin game nights, laughter in the hot tub and of course, two trips to the Cherokee casino. This was my first time going to a casino and let’s just say… it was quite the experience! I played a few rounds of black jack which was fun when our whole group could get on a table together, but overall I enjoyed watching the others play more than playing myself. My favorite part of the whole trip, surprisingly, was bowling on the last day! I hadn’t been bowling in so long and with the right group of people it is the best activity.
- I’ve gotten into yoga this past month doing Yoga With Adriene’s 30 Day Flow Series on YouTube. It has come to be a practice I look forward to doing. Especially working from home it’s nice to start out my day with mindfulness, stretching and movement.
- I tired out two new brunch spots this month and am already dying to go back to both. The first spot is called Le Bon Nosh located in Buckhead where my friend Nina and I grabbed breakfast at! It has the cutest french aesthetic and the food and coffee were incredible. The second is First Watch located in Brookhaven that Casey, Blakely and I tried out after church! Again, the food and iced coffee were EVERYTHING! I’ll be returning to both!
- Other than that, this month has been pretty low-key. We’ve gotten in a pretty steady routine now that I’ve been working from home for a little over 4 months now. It’s been great and keeping me busy, Blakely is still loving her daycare, and Casey’s job is going really well!
Without further ado, let’s get into the faves. As always, thanks for reading!!!
Starting off 2024 strong finishing 4 books! My goal for the year is to read 30 books – same as last year! Shockingly, I read TWO five star books this month which is rare. See my thoughts on my January reads below:
A COURT OF SILVER FLAMES by Sarah J. Maas ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
THOUGHTS: Absolutely LOVED this one!!! This is the fifth book in the A Court Of Thorns & Roses series and it blew me away. I was a little hesitant since it follows another character’s POV, but the character development was so detail. This is a hate to love story trope with themes of redemption, healing and the importance of having friends in your corner. There were so many moving parts from the past four books that were crafted beautifully into this story and all came together in the end. My onlyyyy critique was there was a *little* too much spice in this one… gotta leave some stuff to the imagination!! Lol, but other than that I would give this series 6 stars if I could. I feel so accomplished finishing all of them and I can’t wait for the next book as I hear there is one in the works!!
AMONG THE BROS ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
THOUGHTS: A captivating, eye-opening and unbelievable deep dive into the College of Charleston fraternity drug ring. We also get a micro looks into the good and bad of Greek life at CofC as a whole. Overall a fast-paced and interesting read. My jaw was on the floor at some of the stories and real life accounts from fraternity members told in this book! At times the story felt jumpy and hard to follow because the timeline wasn’t told chronologically, but it may have been harder to follow because I listened to the book on audio. Well done to journalist and author Max Marshall who you can tell thoroughly did his research and put in the time and work for conducting detailed interviews. As someone who is from Charleston and was involved in Greek life at USC a year after this happened, I was surprised to have never heard of this story!
A NOT SO MEET CUTE ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
This one was super cheesy and predictable, but overall I still enjoyed it. There’s definitely more I didn’t like than liked about this book, but I still found myself wanting to know what happened next. I read this at the same time at Demon Copperhead so it was nice to have a lighter story to read simultaneously. If you’re into romance/romcom/hate to love type books then you might like this one!
DEMON COPPERHEAD ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
THOUGHTS: If I could use one word to describe this book it would be: HEAVY! It took me weeks to get through, but it needed all the details and complexity that made it so long. It’s worth noting that the author based this novel on inspiration from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield (which I’ve never read), but made it more relevant to what poverty looks like today mixed with other contemporary issues. A deeply moving, heart-wrenching coming of age story about a brave, resilient young boy who experiences loss, poverty, abuse, and foster care too young. It’s a very realistic look into how generational cycles play into topics like addiction and poverty. Just a fair warning before going into this book: it is not a feel-good read. But I think it’s a must read. It’s also the Pulitzer Prize winner for 2023!
2) LISTENING TO…
THE JAY SHETTY PODCAST ↓
MICHELLE OBAMA: HOW TO STAY WITH YOUR PARTNER WHEN THEY ARE CHANGING & 4 CHECK-INS YOU SHOULD BE DOING IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP… this episode was so interesting and Michelle gave such helpful tips on how to support your partner, navigate negativity and how to take care of your mental health.
DAN BUETTNER: 5 SECRETS TO LIVE TO 100 & THE HACK THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU MAKE DAILY FOOD DECISIONS... I don’t know about you but I’m trying to live until 100!!! I loved this episode and took so many notes on all the lessons Dan learned in what he calls “Blue Zones” – 5 spots in the world where people are living the healthiest, longest life.
THE TOAST ↓
There is no other podcast that makes me giggle as much as this one. The dynamic and banter between Claudia and Jackie is hilarious and keeps me on my toes! I’ve loved how they’ve been talking more sports recently and all things NFL. It helps me (kind of) understand what’s going on when Casey talks football now! Lol.
The Boys In The Boat… enjoyed this one! I’ve heard the book is better (as it usually is), but this one is worth the watch. A great inspirational, feel-good story.
My Life With The Walter Boys… this was SO CUTE!! It’s giving Summer I Turned Pretty but farm version with a little bit more innocence. I wish they casted better for Alex because the whole time I was just rooting for Cole.
Three valentines day recipes I want to make:
1) HEART SHAPED COOKIES! I mean my mouth is already watering looking at these chocolate chip cookies!
2) HEART SHAPED PIZZA! How cute are these mini heart shaped pizzas! ?This sounds like an easy, quick and delicious dinner idea for valentines day that the whole family will enjoy. I know my three year old will go crazy helping make and decorate these!
3) HEART SHAPED PANCAKES! A simple classic for Valentine’s Day morning. Get the day started with love on your family’s plate!!
5) CURRENTLY LOVING…
THE PLAN – DAILY PLANNER... this has been my go to planner for years. I love how it incorporates health and wellness, and the format is perfect for how my days, weeks and months are set up. By purchasing you’d also be supporting a small business so it would go a long way!
AMAZON LONG SLEEVE WORKOUT TOP… my sister gifted me this for Christmas and it has been such a staple in my closet for working out when it’s cold outside. So affordable and great quality!!
MOM’S MOISTURIZER... this is my mom’s rec of the month she insisted be included because it’s that good!! It’s daily facial moisturizer and she says it’s the best one she has found – and she’s tried a lot! I will have to try it and report back, but for now, take her word for it!
VALENTINE’S DAY COOKIE CUTTERS... for $6 I ordered 5 of these cute heart shaped cookie cutters for Valentine’s Day! Will be making pancakes and pizzas shaped like hearts ♡
PAPAYA REUSABLE TOWELS... how cute are these reusable towels!? I cannot believe just ONE of these replaces 17 ROLLS of paper towels. So environmentally friendly and a cute addition to your kitchen or bathroom!
I’d love to know… what are you currently reading, listening to, and loving!? Leave a comment and let me know!