May's Reading, Watching, Listening, and Loving
Is it just me or does it feel like the month of May flew by? I probably say that 9 times out of 10 whenever we reach the end of the month. But it truly feels like the month flew by with everything going on. From Mother’s Day to Violet’s baptism, it felt like we hopped from one thing to the next. June is gearing up to be more of the same.
What I really enjoyed from May was having a bunch of beautiful weather days. I hate when we jump from cold spring weather to hot and humid summer. There have been some absolutely perfect days recently and it’s given me the opportunity to spend time on our porch and outside. Of course there was also a tornado warning last night and we had to hide in the basement for 30 minutes. But overall, it’s been wonderful spending days outdoors with Violet.
And now for my May favorites…
Reading: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
My reading life is just not happening right now. Since we started putting Violet down earlier by herself in our room, I’m not reading as much as I used to. I would read and nurse her or we could leave the light on after putting her down since she was a bitty newborn. Even though her naps are getting more consistent, I’m trying to use that time to work on projects. There are lots of excuses but it all comes down to the fact that I need to make time to read.
At the end of April I picked up The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society because I want to eventually watch the Netflix movie. So far I love the format (letters written between different characters). The story is set during World War II during the German occupation of the Channel islands, something I don’t know much about. I’m looking forward to hopefully making more time to read so I’ll have a new “Reading” to share with you in June. Cross your fingers!
Watching: Street Food on Netflix
I’m trying to shift away from true crime and tragedy documentaries towards other types of docs. And don’t get me started about trying to curb my reality/Bravo obsession (though you can’t make me stop watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills which I started from the beginning on Hulu). People were tweeting about the Netflix documentary series Street Food so Nick and I started watching it on Saturday morning while Violet was napping.
Each episode travels to a different part of Asia (where street food is way more common) and focuses on one vendor and his or her famous dish. They’ll also touch on some other street food dishes and vendors. It is just fascinating to hear these people talk about how and why they started their businesses. It’s incredible the time and dedication they put into their small stands. So many of the stories are heartbreaking because of the struggles they’ve overcome or the losses they’ve endured. But it’s also really empowering to see these small businesses thriving and continuing to promote food ways that have been around for hundreds of years.
Watching Street Food also made me want to watch other food-based documentaries and series. Luckily Netflix has plenty. Next up on my foodie Netflix journey? Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat!
Listening: Startup: Success Academy
In full disclosure, I’m not finished with this podcast, I’m on episode 5 of 7. But I have to recommend this one to all my teacher friends and non-teacher friends who like a good story of how something is built with drive and ambition. Startup is a podcast from Gimlet which shares the nitty gritty of how a business or organization got its start and then continues to grow. Some seasons it follows different people/groups each episode and other seasons it focuses on just one organization and builds it up episode by episode.
This season’s focus on Success Academy talks about how and why Eva Moskowitz started these controversial charter schools in New York City. These schools are in some of the toughest neighborhoods with public schools that are failing. However, Success Academy has passing rates as high as 99% on state exams. Obviously they’re doing something right, but at what cost?
The way they report about Success Academy pulls you in and makes you root for them and question them. It’s also really compelling look at the inequity in education and how some people are working hard to change it. I don’t know if I’m selling this podcast as well as I could be but please, take a listen!
Loving: collagen protein powder from Trader Joe’s
I’m not a huge healthy “supplement” person. I don’t do smoothies because I hate cleaning my blender and the real struggle during my pregnancy was remembering to take my prenatal vitamins every day. But post baby your body is weird and hormones can really throw you off. I started researching ways to help my hair and skin stay healthy and found collagen. It’s not like it’s something new; whether in powder form or as the infamous bone broth, people have been using it for years to promote healthy skin, hair, nails, and joints.
Being my usual self, I was hesitant to spend a lot of money on something that I wasn’t sure about. Thank goodness for Trader Joe’s! If you haven’t checked out their vitamins and supplements section, they have lots of affordable options including a tub of generic collagen powder. Coming in just under $10, it’s cheap and good. Every day I mix a scoop or two into my coffee and it’s completely tasteless.
The big thing I’ve noticed is my nails are stronger and growing (which didn’t happen even before having Violet). My joints feel stronger, which is a plus since I’m constantly getting up and down from the floor. Coupled with my new skin routine focused on moisture, moisture, moisture, it’s definitely making a difference. For $10, you can’t go wrong.