Wow. The last time you heard from me was in March! I was recapping Omaha Fashion Week’s Spring event, and I was looking forward to warmer weather, summer 2020 starting and everything that would bring. I wasn’t planning on taking a six-month hiatus from blogging, but somehow, that happened.
At the end of March, I began working from home full-time because of the pandemic. As many of you know, I already was working from home occasionally, and have a full home office setup, so the transition wasn’t difficult. I had always hoped I’d work 100% remotely, as I am most productive in my own environment (If you know me – you know I’m very social. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes it makes work difficult!).
What did I do the past 6 months then?
I found creative outlets through home projects – I painted my fireplace, part of my kitchen, finished landscaping in my front and back yard, upgraded my backyard garden shed and, speaking of gardening – I had a flourishing garden and I grew 18 fruits and veggies (and am still growing them). I’ll definitely share more about these projects in the next few weeks!
I started dating my amazing boyfriend, who helped with the aforementioned landscaping! We spent lots of time together on safe, socially-distant road trips, went to two small weddings I was a part of and ate lots of good food!
I also got to visit my high school best friend in Milwaukee – which was something I’d wanted to do for awhile. Although the trip consisted of lots of time in her apartment (we did get to go kayaking, though!), getting to chat for a few days was so needed.
Beyond this, it felt good to take a little break from sharing on social media every day. I upgraded some of my home furniture, including my patio furniture, so I’ve been spending a lot of time relaxing and lounging outside.
This wouldn’t truly be an MP recap post, though, if I didn’t list out my faves for you. Without further ado, my listed Summer 2020 Recap:
What I Bought In Summer 2020 & Loved:
- This patio set, surprisingly from Wal-Mart. It’s their BH&G collection, and I love it! I also love the nesting tables.
- These nightstands from Target. I searched for ever for white nightstands that were under $200 each and not in the kid’s section of furniture.
- More of my Tatcha moisturizer. I’m about out, too, and I’ll repurchase forever.
- Biker shorts from Lululemon. I’m also going to wear these all fall with sweaters. The pockets are too good. I actually purchased a pair from Amazon, too, but ended up giving them to my mom because I didn’t love the fit.
- This Weekly Planner Pad, which has saved me while I’m WFH! If you’re also WFH, you need it. It organizes not only my work, but personal life items, finances and habit tracking.
What I Watched over Summer 2020:
Do you guys remember when I had MoviePass in 2018? Gosh, it feels so long ago. I don’t even want to go to a movie theatre now…which is so weird. I watched so many shows this summer. I became a huge lover of Parks & Rec thanks to my boyfriend, but I also binged some random ones, like Space Force. I’m currently trying to get through “Ratched” on Netflix. Here’s a list of my faves over the summer on Netflix, though:
- Teenage Bounty Hunters: OK, I actually loved this show. Reeeeally strange concept. I can’t wait for Season 2 though.
- Selling Sunset. Give me more episodes. That is all.
- Good Girls. Huge, huge fan. And then they had an actress from it on The Home Edit, so I obviously loved that too.
- Married at First Sight. I mean, this was easy to binge.
- Never Have I Ever. This is a top five show for me. Really well produced.
- Outer Banks. If you didn’t watch this, were you really living this summer?
What I Read in Summer 2020:
What you really wanted to know…I know so many of you love to read as much as I do! I read 15 books this summer. Also, follow along with me on Goodreads here if you aren’t already!
- You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks: This book was…weird. It was a thriller, and in a weird way. The main character watches someone commit suicide and then finds the necklace they left at the location. From there, she meets the Moore sisters, who are seemingly perfect…until they aren’t. 3/5 stars, but if I had to give it a letter grade, know that it would be a C.
- When You See Me by Lisa Gardner: I always love her novels, and this didn’t disappoint. It’s actually connected to characters in prior books, so I recommend starting at the beginning of the D.D. Warren chronicles (this is #11). 5/5 stars.
- The Guest List by Lucy Foley: Did anyone else read this? It was my Book of the Month, and it was an interesting thriller about a wedding on a “haunted”-like private island, and someone ends up dead. I gave it 4/5 stars for keeping me on my toes. It was a quick read.
- The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica: A weird one. Kind of depressing. Confusing. Just skip it.
- A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight: This was my May Book of the Month, and it was a good choice! The main character, Lizzie the lawyer, gets a call from a former law classmate who is in Rikers and needs help. His wife was killed, and he’s the main suspect. Lizzie has to uncover a lot of what’s really going on…and it’s definitely not an ending you’d guess. I gave this 4/5 stars.
- The Whisper Man by Alex North: Erg. So many people loved this book on Goodreads and I seriously don’t know why. It just rubbed me the wrong way. Someone is literally whispering outside of a kid’s window. And there’s a former child murderer weaved in. I just feel like it hit on some things I don’t want to think about. It was well-written, though… 3/5 stars, or again, a C.
- Home Before Dark by Riley Sager: You also know I love Riley Sager as an author! This story was about a woman whose father wrote a horror book about a house they lived in growing up. She kind of remembers strange things happening, but it all comes back to her when she inherits the home. 4/5 stars.
- One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London: Bachelor fans, this one is a winner. It’s about a plus-size blogger who becomes a contestant on a show similar to The Bachelorette. 4/5 stars, and definitely read!
- 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand: Easily the best book I’ve read the entire year. This is not your typical Elin novel. I swear, every book she writes she gains more depth. This is about a woman who has an affair with the same man for 28 summers/years, and how it unfolds. Each chapter has a description of events from the year it’s set in, so it really takes me back. Considering I’m 27… it was like a life recap. It just added to the story. 5/5 stars. A+++
- Last Flight by Julie Clark: My friend actually also signed up for Book of the Month and chose this one. It was very different. A woman is in a rough marriage, and ends up switching places on a flight with someone to “escape” – but things don’t go as planned. The woman she switched places with ends up being associated with a drug dealer, she’s double hunted down, etc… 4/5 stars!
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: This is another one that everyone else seems to love, but I just didn’t. I wasn’t interested. It was drawn out, not dramatic, and I couldn’t follow it. I skipped around until I finished it. 2/5 stars.
- Head over Heels by Hannah Orenstein: Super cute! This was the story of two former gymnasts connecting. It’s a love story, but also the story of old friends coming together. Really enjoyed this one. 4/5 stars.
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins: I waited for months for this to be available at the library! Give this one a read. It’s about a mom and a son whose family is taken away from them due to gang violence in Mexico, and their journey to cross the border. 5/5 stars.
- The Dilemma by B.A. Paris: This author had one of my favorite books ever, Behind Closed Doors. This didn’t stack up. I’d probably skip it actually. 2/5 stars.
- The Last Story of Mina Lee by by Nancy Jooyoun Kim: This novel is about a Korean-American mother whose daughter finds her deceased in her apartment. The daughter has to uncover what happened. It switches back and forth from the mother’s life story in America to the daughter in present-day. I really liked this one. It’s going to be a top book for me this year! 5/5 stars.
Favorite Peloton Classes I took in Summer 2020:
It’s been almost two years, and I still love my Peloton. As a reminder, you can see my one month review here – if you’re considering getting one! I’m also going to do a recap post with my favorite rides this year, but here are a few I loved in the past few months:
- I did my first Bike Bootcamp with Robin and loved it! Definitely recommend trying this series.
- 30 minute XOXO Cody from 9/10… It’s back-to-school edition and I was cracking up.
- 30 minute Britney Spears ride from 7/15… That speaks for itself.
- Cody’s body scan meditation from 6/22
- 60 minute PZ Endurance ride with Matt from 7/13/19. My first 60 minute PZ ride. Might have died, but it was SUCH a good workout.
Note: To get $100 off your Peloton purchase, you can use my referral code of THFUJ6.
I’m doing a candle pouring party at Nomad Wax Co. this weekend with some girlfriends and then enjoying dinner outside after, so I’m excited for that! I’m also hoping to have my boyfriend take me to a corn maze… #cheesy. If you made it this far – have a great rest of your week!