As of mid-April, my husband and I were both fully vaccinated, which made for a great month. We haven’t changed our lifestyle much (although we did take a wonderful and safe road trip!), but it just feels like a weight has been lifted. We won’t be rushing off to indoor gatherings anytime soon, but I feel such immense gratitude when I get to hug my mom or invite vaccinated friends over to our house.
You may have also seen via Instagram announcement, that we’re expecting our first baby in October! That’s definitely been impacting a lot of my day-to-day life right now, including what I’m reading. I didn’t expect to experience such a lack of energy and focus, but I have been, which has meant more breezy reads and TV time. I started to feel more like myself towards the end of April, so I’m hoping for a strong summer reading season before our little one arrives!
For now, here are the things I read, watched, listened to, and made that brought me joy this April.
What I Read
I picked up a couple books I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and loved them both! Bluets by Maggie Nelson is mesmerizing with a shocking amount of emotional heft for such a slim book. And Edwidge Danticat’s Everything Inside is one of the best short story collections I’ve read this year.
I also explored some great nonfiction this month, including Disfigured by Amanda Leduc, Belabored by Lyz Lenz, and The Dark Fantastic by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas.
The April pick for the FictionMatters Book Club is now a new favorite book for me. While not everyone in our crew loved it, Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things is exactly my kind of book: gorgeous writing, interesting structure, complicated characters, and an ending that makes you want to reread it again right away.
The conversation surrounding how the publishing world will and should handle potential book deals with former Trump administration officials to be really important. This article was a great overview.
I was featured in an Apartment Therapy article about reading nooks alongside six other bookstagrammers I adore.
This is a wonderful article about Black Southern poetry.
What I Watched
Mostly I’m living for new Top Chef episodes each week. It’s my favorite reality show and this season is so fun with all the returning contestants serving as a rotating judging panel.
I’m loving Mare of Easttown, and it’s giving me serious Tana French vibes–no Irish setting, but some seriously great accent work.
I’ve watched a few episodes of Generation Hustle on HBO Max. They’re hit or miss but they have a fun, low stakes true crime vibe, which is something I’m regularly in the mood for.
The new Amy Tan documentary on PBS is so good. I learned so much about her life and her creative process was fascinating. [Disclosure: I partnered with PBS to promote this documentary on IG, but I genuinely loved it! Trigger warning for suicidal ideation.]
I started rewatching Schitt’s Creek before bed, which is a true delight. It feels like hanging out with friends.
What I Listened To
Welcome to Your Fantasy, the podcast about the dark side of Chippendales was a highly entertaining road trip listen.
This conversation between Anne Helen Petersen and Patricia Lockwood is awesome—especially if you’re an elder millennial.
This month, I caught up on episodes of Still Processing. It’s one of my favorite podcasts but I usually save a few to binge and I really enjoyed their most recent episodes.
I loved this interview with audiobook queen, Julia Whalen!
What I Made
It’s grilling season–well at least it is about every other week when the weather cooperates. We change up our main dishes but almost always make quick pickled cucumbers and this potato salad as our sides.
Breakfast burritos are our current favorite lunch. They’re so easy and a great way to get more protein, which is something I always struggle with.
We go through phases where we get really into specific cookbooks and right now we’re making lots of our favorites from Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites.
We’re still reliant on Blue Apron for three meals a week, but one thing that has seriously elevated our kit meals is our sous vide. We use it basically every time we cook meat and it turns out perfectly every time.
The Things I Loved
I still love the Peloton app, but I recently did a 30 day free trial of Obe Fitness because they have an extensive collection of prenatal classes, including barre, strength, yoga, and dance classes. I think I’m going to become a paying member because I’m really enjoying the workouts and appreciate that a lot of them are super short, but effective. I will say that the music for the classes is…bad. But I just turn on a podcast and turn down the instructor volume, and I can follow along easily enough!
I bought two new bathing suits from Summersalt and I adore them both. I’ve always just gotten suits from Target and, while these were definitely more of a splurge, they were worth it. I got the Marina one piece in seaglass and the High Leg High Rise bottoms in Leopard with a matching Triangle Bikini top.
I’ve loved getting to do a few more “normal” things now that my husband and I are both fully vaccinated. We drove to Palm Springs (16 hours but driving felt safer!) and sat by the pool of our Airbnb for a week. We’ve also been seeing more friends for outdoor dinners, which has been so amazing.
Post-dinner walks. We’ve been eating a little earlier and it’s staying light out longer which means walking after dinner is a lot easier these days. I’ve really enjoyed the ritual of taking Bingley for a 20 minute evening stroll while listening to my audiobook.
Rainbow clothing makes me very happy in the spring and summer. I’m particularly obsessed with these sandals and this dress.
Clinique Even Better Refresh is the mid-coverage, full-face makeup of my dreams. I use a pea sized amount and it completely evens out my skin tone without looking like I’m wearing makeup at all. It’s perfect. It’s available at Sephora and department stores, but Ulta has the most shade options.
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