Quarterly Favorites #2 April-June 2020

Hello everyone! Today I am back with the second installment of my Quarterly Favorites series! If you haven’t seen the first one, feel free to do so before reading this one.

If I’m being honest, it was a bit hard to come up with some favorites this time around. I feel like I haven’t really been doing or trying anything new because of Covid-19. But, I did still want to share this post, despite it being a bit shorter than the last one!

Movies & TV Shows:

  • All American: This show is about a Black teen football player at Crenshaw High, Spencer, who gets asked to join the team at Beverly Hills. His whole life gets turned around and now he has to navigate a new world with new friends. I am currently on the second season but I ADORED the first season, and I am so excited to finish it.
  • The Morning Show: This is an Apple TV original show produced by Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell (and staring Jennifer Aniston). I recently got a new laptop, and it came with a subscription to Apple TV. I have heard a lot about this show, and now I finally had the chance to watch it. It was PHENOMENAL and I can’t wait for the next season! It is a must watch- so gripping, so intense. I finished it in a matter of days.
  • Just Mercy: I haven’t been watching a lot of movies recently, but I saw that this one had become available for free online (and it still is for the rest of June, I believe!!), so I watched it. It was such a good movie.
  • 13th: I’m sure you’ve seen many people talking about this documentary lately, with all of the discussion of the BLM movement. It is so important, and it really does help to educate on modern racism.

Blog Posts I Loved:

  • Emme talked about her bad reading habits, all of which I am guilty of, too. It is good to know that I’m not the only one who does these, but I also liked reading this to see what things I should work on changing.
  • Caitlin tried guessing the synopses of different 2020 releases, and this was such a fun post. I had so much fun reading it and trying to guess along with her!
  • Kristin tier-ranked all of the YA novels she’s read, and I love watching tier-ranking videos on Booktube, so it was cool to see it translated to blogging. She’s also done a post ranking her favorite books, which I definitely want to do for myself, too!
  • Holly has written a few reviews in the form of letters recently, but my favorite is her review of The Starless Sea! She summed up my feelings so well. These are such unique reviews, and I really love reading them.
  • Tiffany hosts a book club with Alexandra, and I highly recommend checking it out! I am going to continue to join them during the months that I can, but the discussion in the Facebook group afterwards was so interesting!
  • Sofii shared a list of 30 LGBTQ+ book releases of 2020 in honor of pride month! I definitely found some new books to add to my TBR, so please check out this list!
  • Chloe talked about going without her phone during isolation, and it was so eye-opening! While you guys are reading this, I’m actually taking a week off of social media (any of my posts or Tweets have been pre-scheduled!). It is so important to unplug and spend time offline sometimes.
  • Marie wrote about a topic that was being discussed on Twitter recently, which is the way book bloggers are treated in relation to other ‘book influencers.’ It’s no secret that bloggers are often overlooked and undervalued, despite being basically the foundation of book promotion. This was a really interesting read, and I agreed with everything written!

My Posts I Loved:

  • I shared a list of books by Black authors that I want to read, and I want to re-share this post, in case you missed it. Do not stop supporting the BLM movement, and continue to read diversely every single month!
  • My testing book recipes post was so much fun to make, and I definitely want to do it again in the future! Let me know if you guys would be interested in that.

Other:

  • Cork-boards: I recently bought some cork-boards to hang up in my room, and I absolutely love the way they look. Mostly, I love that I can change out the pictures I hang on them anytime I want, so I can constantly create new vision boards for myself. I like to use them for inspiration!
  • Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: This book helped me out SO MUCH when I started outlining a new WIP this month. I am definitely going to be using it for a long time. If you are a writer, I highly recommend giving this method a try if you struggle with plot and structure.
  • Elta MD Sunscreen: I wear sunscreen everyday on my face. But now, especially that it is getting super sunny and hot, it is even more important. This is my favorite facial sunscreen ever, and it has been a life changer, honestly. It’s a bit on the pricier side, but it was recommended by my dermatologist, and I really do love it.
  • Watermelon Wonder Kombucha: I’ve always loved kombucha, and I’ve had this one a few times before. But recently, I have been drinking it so often. It is incredible and I never want to drink any other flavor.
  • Apple Watch: I got an Apple watch during this quarter of the year as well, and it was such a great purchase. I think it’s only worth buying if you are into fitness. Personally, I only use it to track my runs and workouts. It does have some other good features, but I don’t really use them much. As far as fitness tracking, I do think it works really well, and I love it!

What are some of your favorites from the past three months? Leave a comment letting me know :)

Quarterly Favorites #1 / Jan-Mar 2020

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to share the first installment of a new series on my blog- quarterly favorites. I’ve shared some favorites here in the past, but it’s something I haven’t done in a really long time.

I think it is a good way to incorporate more of my life on this blog, and I hope it allows you to get to know me more- and maybe you’ll find some of your own favorites, too!

As this is a quarterly favorites post, it is something I’m hoping to do every 3 months.

Books:

  • How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow
  • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
  • My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

Movies/TV Shows:

  • The Circle: I haven’t watched or started really any new tv shows in a while, but I did binge this one and I LOVED it. It was super entertaining, and I am eagerly waiting for season 2.

As far as movies, I have been watching many because I am trying to watch all 100 movies on the American Film Institute’s “Best Movies of All Time” list! Here are some of my favorites:

  • Psycho
  • Singin’ in the Rain
  • Casablanca

Music:

  • To Die For by Sam Smith
  • Never Worn White by Katy Perry
  • What A Man Gotta Do by Jonas Brothers
  • I Love Me by Demi Lovato

Health/Fitness:

Other:

  • Notion for desktop- this productivity/task system is incredible
  • the Balance meditation app
  • Tik Tok whipped iced coffee- if you haven’t seen this trend, I recommend looking it up and trying it!

let's chat

That is all for my favorites of the last three months! If you also like any of these things, let me know in the comments so we can chat about them :)

Jessica

Turtles All The Way Down- Review

As you may have heard, John Green’s new book, Turtles All The Way Down, came out on October 10th. I was extremely excited to read it, because I have loved previous books by him.

I purchased the audiobook and began listening to that a few days after the release. Before I could even get 1/4 of the way through, I knew I had to own the physical copy. On Tuesday, I bought a signed edition from Target, and having it in my hands made me feel so much closer to it. I could actually see the words he had written, and it made the whole experience even better for me.

Goodreads synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

My review:

I immediately fell in love with this book. This was the first book that I truly felt connected to the main character of a novel. I could relate to so many of the thoughts she had and it helped me make sense of my mind. The way John phrased Aza’s anxiety is the best description I have read. It really coincided with my own anxiety, and I could not be more grateful for this novel.

It really focuses on the struggles of everyday life of what it is like to live inside your own head. I feel like I can give this book to someone if I ever had to explain my anxiety to them. For me personally, it is extremely difficult to put my anxiety into words because I can not fully understand it half of the time. But when I read these words, it was as if every thought I had was written out for me.

Not only does she struggle with anxiety, but she also has obsessive thoughts which I can relate to as well. The combination of OCD and anxiety is extremely difficult and draining. You can feel how tired Aza is from suffering from this.

I had tears in my eyes while reading this book.

It was poetic and thought provoking and absolutely everything I needed to read, especially right now.

I think I may have found my new favorite YA book.

Rating: 5/5 stars

xx, jessica

July

This month has been filled with so many new experiences for me. I spent a week at a beach house in North Carolina, which was super relaxing. It also gave me a chance to reflect on the past month. Here are some of my favorite things.

Watching

  1. Gilmore Girls- I decided to finish rewatching this show because I wasn’t in the mood to start something new yet. My love for it was just as strong as the first time, and I am glad I watched it again.
  2. The Silence of the Lambs- This movie is insane. I can’t believe I haven’t watched it earlier. I highly recommend checking it out!
  3. Jaws- Another movie I can’t believe I haven’t watched earlier. It made me slightly terrified of the ocean for a few weeks, but I have recovered.

 

Reading

  1. Zines- I have been reading so many zines this past month. Zines are mini magazines that are DIY’d and can be on any topic you choose! I have both been making them, as well as buying them! My current favorite shop is Quietly Written on Etsy. My favorite zine is the Write It Down one! It was a great read.
  2. Shatter Me series- I read the first book “Shatter Me” last summer I believe. I kept promising myself that I would finish the series but I didn’t get around to it until now. I just finished the 3rd book and I am so happy I decided to continue it. The second book was my favorite of the three, and I can not wait for the next 3 books to come out.

Listening

  1. Lorde’s Album (Melodrama)- This whole album is absolutely incredible. Lorde’s music is always amazing, and this album is no different. I began listening to it a lot more this month.
  2. H.E.R. (Every Kind of Way)- I was introduced to H.E.R. by my friends and I fell in love. My favorite song at the moment is Every Kind of Way!
  3. Madison Beer (Dead)- This song is SO good. I haven’t listened to Madison Beer much before this song, but I will probably be checking out more now!

Other

  1. Acrylic Paint- Painting has always been a part of my life in the form of watercolors, but I decided to explore other mediums. My obsession has been acrylic paints this month. I have so much more control with the artwork I create.
  2. Minimalism- I am definitely not considered a minimalist. I am the biggest hoarder ever. I have been reading a lot on the topic, however. I have made an effort to get rid of the unnecessary clutter in my life this month. So far, it’s working!

 

That’s all that I have for my favorites! I hope you check some of them out :) What have your favorites been?

ending