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What's Saving My Life Right Now | January Etc.

What's Saving My Life Right Now | January Etc.

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Unless you're big into winter sports or a masochist, I think we all get a touch of the winter blues. Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy does a post a couple of times a year about the things that are saving her life at the moment, so I thought it would be fun to link up and share some of the things that I've really been into. Plus, I really wanted to link up and see what everyone else is into! 

1. Podcasts- I legitimately can't get enough of these. I have my pods, I know what day they come out, and I get unreasonably sad when they're not released on  time :) My favorites are a mix of political/intellectual, bookish, and comedy. I listen to them when I work, clean the house, drive, do the dishes...you name it! If you listen to podcasts, I would love it if you would leave some of your favorites down below! 

Some of my favorites: 

Entertainment: Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People, The Popcast with Knox and Jamie, Sword and Scale, Top Four, Bitch Sesh: A Real Housewives Breakdown, (and if you've NEVER listened to a pod and want to get into them- Serial Season One or S Town).

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2. Wireless Headphones- Going along with my podcasts, I've also been living in my wireless headphones. We're lucky enough to own two pair in my house and I love them both. Mine are the Beats Studio2 Wireless Over-Ear headphones. These are a very solid headphone and at just over $200, I think they're reasonably priced for what they are. I love the over ear headphones for the nose cancelling element- it really helps me focus! I prefer the large ones so that when I'm commuting, people know I'm listening to someone and can't hear. I will say they do squeeze my head a bit too much and I have to take a break after about 3 hours. They also will spontaneously disconnect from my bluetooth, forcing me to stop what I'm doing and turn them off and then back on, which is frustrating. #firstworldproblems

We also own a higher quality pair of Sennheiser PXC Wireless headphones. If you can swing it, these are so worth it. They are light as air and I could wear them as long as I need to. They feel and look nice. They're easy to turn on and off- just turn the earphone parts in or out. The sound is amazing and these are truly noise cancelling- you won't hear anything you don't want to! I love stealing these from J when I can. 

3. At Home Water Cooler- Who knew water could feel like such a luxury!? I love drinking water and I do a pretty good job when I'm at work. I have a pitcher that I fill up at the water cooler and drink throughout the day, but I found that I wasn't drinking basically any water on the weekends when I was at home. Our tap water is cloudy and pretty sketchy, and I was getting tired of re-filling the Britta. I finally got the idea to get an at home water cooler via Hinckley Springs. It's pretty simple- we have our person come to the house once a month. We leave the empty jugs outside, and he leaves us 5 new ones. We got the bottom loading one so I can switch out the jug when I need to. I love having an abundance of water around to drink, give to the dog, and water my plants with. It seems simple but this $35 a month investment makes me happy! Plus I like not having to go through tons of bottled water.

 Day 3 Nails

Day 3 Nails

4. This Topcoat- Very rarely will you catch me without painted nails. I just feel more put together when they're done. I don't pay to get my nails done- mainly because I'm cheap, but also because I've gotten really good at doing them myself. I used to do an at-home gel manicure, but recently I've been sticking to a regular manicure thanks to the Glisten & Glow Topcoat. I've tried a lot of the other hyped topcoats (Seche Vite, Essie, Orly), but this stuff tops all of them. It dries your nails very quick (maybe 5 minutes?), keeps the nails shiny, and best of all, prevents chips. It doesn't hold up as long as a gel manicure, but I can get at least 5 days of no chip with regular polish. That's great in my book! 

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5. Booband- Like a real optimist, I thought it would be a great idea for me to sign up for a 10 mile run this Memorial Day. I thought, perfect! I'll be getting married in July and though this would be a great way to get in shape before the wedding. Problem is, I'm not a distance runner. I was a sprinter in high school (and like to think I'm still fast in very very short distances), but I can't run more than 3 miles at the moment. And of course before I really commit to a running schedule, I need the right gear right? (You have to spend money to make money! Or something like that.) Anyway, one of the things I've been on the market for is a great sports bra. I came across the Booband on Facebook, and was very impressed with the advertisement. Essentially, it's an elastic band that helps with your bounce. Legitimately, I HATE wearing sports bras. I always have to wear two and getting them on turns me off from running all together. The thing I love the most is that the band is so very easy to get on. It also works! It's not the prettiest thing ever, but if it makes it more comfortable for me to run, I am all about it. Next- to find the perfect running shoe! And eventually get training...

NEW TO THE TBR PILE

 The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin- If you could find out the exact date of your death, would you? A psychic who is able to do just that arrives in Manhattan and four adolescents sneak out to find out their fates. The book then spans their next five decades and we see how these predictions have shaped their lives. Newly released in January. 

The Summer Wives, Beatriz Williams- Another book in the Schuyler Sister Series! At this point I really will read anything Beatriz Williams writes, but the plot grabbed me here too. It's a story of murder, class, power, and family secrets in 1950s Long Island. Out in July. 

Tangerine, Christine Mangan- Isn't this cover stunning? Two ex best friends are reunited overseas. At first the rekindling of their friendship seems like a good thing, but soon Alice starts to feel controlled by Lucy, just as she had before. Alice's husband then goes missing, forcing Alice to question everything around her. Including herself. Sounds like an intense, twisty debut! Out in March.

NEW TO THE BOOKSHELF

Although part of my reading plan in 2018 is to read more of the books that I already own, I still want to share the books that I received this month, especially since some are ARC's. (Along the same lines of 'what's been saving my life'... I finally started to email publishers to ask if they would send me a physical copy of an ARC. And guess what. They have!).

Red Clocks | Leni Zumas | In a dystopian future, women are no longer allowed to have abortions of any kind, as fetuses have rights as soon as an egg hits a sperm. A difficult, but important, read. Especially for women.

The Woman In The Window | A.J. Finn | In the spirit of Hitchcock, an psychologist pays a lot of attention to her neighbors eventually sees something that she shouldn't have. She's also an alcoholic and agoraphobe, making her a special kind of unreliable narrator. 

An American Marriage | Tayari Jones | A black man gets accused of a crime that he didn't commit. He's thrown in prison, and this is the story of his new wife Celestial, their best friend Andre, and Roy. A modern classic. (And despite the heavy subject- this was a fast read! Don't pass it up.) Full review here

The French Girl | Lexie Elliott | For me, anytime a group of friends have to come together in adulthood to reconcile something terrible they went through when they were younger, I'm going to read it. An enigmatic French woman the group meets while on holiday winds up dead in a well. Her body is found 10 years later and the group has to come back together for questioning. Bound to be riveting! 

The Clarity | Keith Thomas | A supernatural/ science fiction story, we meet a psychologist and her young patient who claims to be reincarnated as a soldier from WWI who's being chased by an assassin named Rade who wants the past memories to remain a secret. Very spooky cover, very twisted premise.

Tangerine | Christine Mangan | This is truly a case of judging a book by its cover. I spoke about it above, and this is the first book that I wanted badly enough to email the publishers directly. We're in for a story about friendship, manipulation, and gaslighting. What's not to like?

Let Me Lie | Clare Mackintosh | A new one from one of my favorite authors, but boy, does this sound like a rough one. Anna's parents have both committed suicide. With a new baby herself, she is desperate to find out what really happened to them, much to the chagrin of someone lurking in the shadows who wants the secret to stay hidden. 

AROUND #Bookstagram

A couple of favorite photos from the month! 

@ktnewms- Not strictly books, but totally gorgeous.

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@bookishbronte- Here's just one of her many masterpieces.

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@booksugar- Serious bookshelf goals.

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@watermelanies- Look at all the flat lays! 

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@bookswrotemystory- Love the crispness and the symmetry.

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@grumplstiltskin- Just the most colorful and gorgeous feed.

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What were your favorite discoveries in January? 

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Review | How To Stop Time | Matt Haig

Review | How To Stop Time | Matt Haig

Review | An American Marriage | Taryari Jones

Review | An American Marriage | Taryari Jones