What I’m Reading
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I’d seen this book recommended for fans of Rainbow Rowell and E. Lockhart, both of whom I’ve read and enjoyed and when I heard several others listing it on their TBR list, I knew I wanted to check it out. Jessie’s whole world is upended when her father remarries a Hollywood executive and moves her across the country to California. When Jessie receives an anonymous email from Somebody/Nobody, offering to guide her through her new school, she’s skeptical. Half the fun of the book is trying to figure out which of the characters could be this mysterious guide. This book is really about the process of grieving and growing up and I found it compelling. The characters are all fantastic with the right about of flaws and the mystery of Somebody/Nobody’s identity keeps the plot moving.
For even more book reviews from February, check out my What I’ve Been Reading post.
What I’m Watching
Holy moly! I would never have tried this based on the description but when John and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love mentioned in on their podcast, I thought it was worth a try. Six people in a small rural town crawl out of their graves one night, including policeman James’ dead wife. It’s his job to figure out what is happening and also make sense of how he’s dealt with his own grief. I’m a total wuss about creepy or macabre things and I promise, this wasn’t like that. The story is so much more about the characters’ relationships and whether coming back to life is ultimately helpful or hurtful to those we leave behind. It’s an Australian show on Netflix and the first season is only six episodes so it’s a low commitment but fair warning, their are cliff hangers galore and you’ll have to wait until late fall for Season 2’s release.
My husband introduced me to the original 24 series back in college when we started dating and I have fond memories of binge watching this late into the night so part of my enjoyment of this show is pure nostalgia. This remake of the original show follows much of the same template with a eminent threat to the country that must be stopped by the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) and Eric Carter (the new Jack Bauer) within 24 hours. It’s full of the same ridiculously dramatic plot lines and dramatic irony but for fans of the previous show, it’s perfect. Even if you weren’t a 24 fan in the past, this is a pretty easy show to pick up and the twists and turns are always exciting. Episodes are up on Hulu right now.
What I’m Loving
I’ve known for a while that I needed to figure out a better way to manage my passwords. After about the 20th time I had to reset my Apple password, I finally gave in and asked my husband to set up LastPass for me. He’s used it for years to securely store all his passwords and I’ve resisted because it seemed complicated but I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and let me tell you, it’s awesome! I have it installed on my computer with the Chrome extension so I literally don’t have to remember anything anymore. Everything is encrypted so it’s very secure and we can link our accounts so we can share passwords for things like our bank and other important logins. I also recently upgraded to the premium version which is only a few dollars a year so that I can have access to it on my phone. I will say the the iPhone app isn’t my favorite because it’s not as smooth at autofilling but I do love that I have all the information with me whenever I need it. I’m not a technical person but this has been very helpful in getting me organized and more secure with my passwords. If you sign up for LastPass Premium (only $12 per year) using this link, we both get a free month!
I am usually disappointed by Panera’s salads because they tend to be more sweet than I like. I don’t love fruit in my salad if I’m eating it for my main dish so many of their choices don’t appeal to me but I recently was really craving a salad and decided to try the Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken. So delicious and exactly what I’m looking for in a salad. The chicken, hard boiled egg and avocado all provide enough protein, a must for a salad meal and the creamy green goddess dressing….amazing! I’ve been very impressed with their greens as well since they’re not just boring romaine or iceberg. It’s my current craving right now and I love that I feel a little bit healthier.
I use an auxiliary cable to connect my phone to my car and I usually just stick it in the cupholder. I typically listen to podcasts and music so I don’t need to see the screen much but I also found myself fumbling with a phone a bit more than I should be while I’m driving and realized a phone mount would be helpful. I’ve tried suction cup ones but they don’t seem to stick well to my dashboard and many of them require I put my phone in a spring loaded contraption that takes two hands (not driving friendly) so when I found this one, I was super impressed. It uses a magnet in the back of my phone case that’s so far been very strong and it fits into the CD player (which I never use) and keeps it at eye level. I’ve had it a few weeks and have been very happy with it. I can see my phone much easier for mapping and I like that it’s not banging around in my cupholder getting gross.
From the Blog
Questions to Ask When Choosing A School for Your Child – The process of looking for a school for your kids can be a bit overwhelming. These are my best questions to ask when you’re making that decision.
Best Games to Pack for Family Travel – My round up of some of our favorite games to pack when we travel. All of them are small and portable and best of all, they can all be played at home too. No travel versions of bigger games, just great choices to take along when you hit the road.
South Haven, Michigan with Kids – If you’ve never experienced the Great Lakes in the summer, you’re missing out! South Haven in West Michigan is a special spot for our family and these 5 things for kids are just a few of the reasons we love it. Let me now if you need help planning a trip!
How has February been for you? Have you found a great book or new show to watch? Leave a comment below so we can all learn from your friendly wisdom!