12 August 2021

What I Read in July

I think I am in disbelief that it is August and it's almost my favorite season, FALL! However, I am still holding on to reading all the light fluffy beach reads for this season especially with a beach day trip planned for this weekend.

I am very ahead on my Goodreads goal of 85 books this year and I attribute that to a winter of audiobooks when I had to be in the office working on a scanning project. However, I only actually read two books this past month. The rest were audiobooks since I took a trip to my parent's town and I had more driving around town visiting friends (before this variant picked up in NC). Here's what I read last month:

Beach ReadAugustus Everett and January Andrews are both writers, he writes literary fiction, she writes romance novels. They have been rivals since college and now find themselves as neighbors for the next three months on a beach in Michigan as January inherited a home there after her father's death. The problem, they both have writer's block. 

One night they make a deal to write in the other's genre - January will write the next great novel and Augustus will write a happy ending. To help each other they decide to take field trips each week. Throughout the summer they get closer as they adventure around the town and learn more about each other's pasts. 

This was a fun read although it took me a while to get into the book itself. ⭐⭐⭐

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man - Emmanuel Acho began a video series last year under the same title that takes on all the questions, large and small, insensitive and taboo, many white Americans are afraid to ask and kindly educates white people. He explains the vital core of such fraught concepts as white privilege, cultural appropriation, and “reverse racism” with compassion and understanding. 

This was a very quick audiobook that had me examining and questioning some of my past behaviors and thoughts. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tweet Cute Pepper is the swim team captain a chronic overachiever and an all-around perfectionist. Her family's burger chain Big League Burger’s is booming and Pepper is the talent behind their massive Twitter account. Jack, a classmate of Pepper's is seen as the class clown a thorn in Pepper’s side. He is often seen busy working in his family’s deli or fighting with his twin. 

When Big League Burger steals Jack's grandma's iconic grilled cheese recipe, Jack steps into a Twitter war to take down Big League Burger, one tweet at a time. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

This was a sweet YA romance that was a quick listen as you hear the two teens fighting for their family's businesses while also juggling extracurriculars, college applications, and figuring out what they actually want to do with their lives if they did not have the family business inheritance pressures.  ⭐⭐⭐

Last Tang Standing Andrea Tang has a successful career as a lawyer, a posh condo, and a clutch of fun-loving friends who are always in the know about Singapore's hottest clubs and restaurants. All she has to do is make partner at her law firm and she will have achieved everything she (and her mother) has ever worked for. So what if she's poised to be the last unmarried member of her generation of the Tang clan? She doesn't need a man to feel fulfilled, no matter what her meddling relatives have to say about it.

But for a dutiful Chinese-Malaysian daughter, the weight of familial expectations is hard to ignore. And so are the men life keeps throwing in Andrea's path. Men like Suresh Aditparan, her annoyingly attractive rival for partner and the last man she should be spending time with, and Eric Deng, a wealthy entrepreneur whose vision for their future is more lavish than she could have imagined. With her workplace competition growing ever more intense, her friends bringing dramas of their own to her door, and her family scrutinizing her every romantic prospect, Andrea finds herself stretched to the breaking point. And she can't help but wonder: In the endless tug-of-war between pleasing others and pleasing herself, is there room for everyone to win?

If you enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians, I think you would like Last Tang Standing. It is also set in Singapore, however, most of the characters are working adults that are dealing with familial pressures and cultural expectations of what is considered successful. ⭐⭐⭐

In Five YearsWhen Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend's marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

As someone who is Type-A and would want to see a peek into 2026 this was an interesting concept as a book and it was fun to see how the vision came to be and how it colored Dannie's relationships for the five years of "waiting." ⭐⭐⭐

What are you currently reading?

10 August 2021

Currently {August}

It has been months and months since I linked up with Anne of Anne in Residence for her monthly currently post but here are a few things I am admiring, anticipating, enjoying, spending, and saving this month.


All the sweet back-to-school photos and back-to-school traditions. While I have not been in school since May 2012 and have no littles of my own, I love all the joy and fresh starts a school year brings. My favorite back-to-school tradition was my Mom would make us worms in dirt as the after-school snack for our first day of school. We never ate worms and dirt the rest of the year, just the first day (and sometimes there were leftovers for day 2) of school. 


Vacations. I am headed to the West Coast to visit with my Mom's family in late September. There are five mini cousins I need to meet since I have not been out west since October 2018 (we were supposed to visit in November 2020). I am also planning a trip to the NC mountains in early November for a girl's weekend with two of my best friends!
This is the three of us when we hosted a spaced theme dinner in May once we were all fully vaccinated and didn't need to keep space between us! This fall will mark 13 years of friendship. 


sweet tea from Chick-Fil-A. Also, if you didn't know you can purchase a 5lb bag of CFA ice for under $2.

Olive and June polish. I am currently wearing Honest and True.

swimming in my parent's pool.

Sharon Says So podcast. I am very excited for this week's episode on why Texas cannot secede from the US.

All the sandwiches since turning on an oven isn't happening.

Fresh pens. I told you I love back to school season. I did grab some new flair pens for my Write the Word journals and some new inkjoy pens for my planner.


I spent a lot of time watching the Olympics the last two weeks. My bedtime needs to get under control after all the midnight nights watching late-night coverage.

I have also been trying to limit my superfluous spending but I did buy paint to paint my nightstand and desk a beautiful navy color. Since I rarely go to Lowe's and I needed to go for a gift, it made sense to grab the paint then finally. It will be a September goal to paint everything.


All the recipes from Elyse Ellis of Macro Friendly Food! I follow her on Instagram and I am signed up for her monthly meal plan. The next two recipes I want to try are actually just on her Instagram feed, with these No Bake S'mores bars and I think I need to invite friends over for brunch so I can make the Protein Creme Brulee French Toast Bake. 

What is your August looking like?

03 August 2021

August Goals

 Hey y'all,

I have drafted a ton of posts but actually publishing them has not happened since January so if you stuck around, thanks you. The last year was hard and for someone who loves to socialize and plan for the future, it was filled with lessons on God's provision and timing. I am glad I am healthy and can now see small groups of friends again. 

I am also trying to be gentle with myself as we slowly return to "normal" with gentle August goals. 


I returned to the Barre3 Chapel Hill studio about a month and a half ago and I would like to keep up with at least one class a week. 

I also joined the YMCA since I have a few friends who are members so I have built-in gym buddies. I have gone a few times a week to just walk (since it is a million degrees right now) and started taking classes. My goal is to go to the Y at least 3 times a week. 


No random spending. I am great about making a budget but following through is harder. Two of my best friends are getting weekly texts this month about if I did unnecessary spending. So far, on day three of the month I have only spent money on gas, groceries, bills, and my bestie's birthday gift (planned spend).


Get to bed by 11pm. I have been terrible about bedtime the last year especially with working from home. I am now in the office twice a week and would love to work out the other mornings. Also, the Olympics are killing any hope for me to go to bed at a reasonable time. So I am making an effort for lights out to be 11 pm.

Mental health.

I have gained weight over the last two years and for my mental health, I went through my closet and I am getting rid of everything that does not fit now. I am not holding onto the "one-day" things. I want my closet to be filled with things that fit and I feel good in. I do not want to continue to see items and think about what my body looked like in the past. 

I am slowly posting things on Poshmark with the goal for everything to be up by the end of the month. If things don't sell by the end of November the items will go on Facebook or ThredUp.


Finish 3 audiobooks and 5 physical books. Now that I am driving a bit more I am listening to more audiobooks. I am currently listening to Cameron Eubanks Wimberly's book, One Day You'll Thank Me. I just started the physical book, Life's Too Short, by Abby Jimenez. I am also finishing up Jen Wilkin's Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands with a group of women from my church. 

What are some of your goals for August?

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