Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Monthly Medley: August 2020

This month I enjoyed reading Reputation by Sara Shepard. This mystery, about the fallout following a catastrophic email server hack at a major university, is told from multiple perspectives, but I had an easier time keeping up with the lengthy cast of characters in this novel than in some I've read previously. There are a few welcome twists and turns, and - without giving anything away - I felt a sense of closure at the end, which is something I desperately need when I read.

I think our family's days with cable television are numbered. Granted, I say something similar every year around this time, when most summer shows have wrapped and fall shows haven't yet kicked off, but I feel it more strongly this year because we have no idea when or even if our favorites will return to the small screen. Maybe this is the right time to jump ship? Pretty much the only shows I watch via cable right now (during the "dead zone" that is August television) are The Today Show (I just adore Savannah and Hoda), America's Got Talent, and Friends, which I record every night so I always have a few waiting for me in the DVR queue. But when sports and regular fall programming start back up? I just don't know... Someone guide me here.

We watched a few films not worth reviewing (Muppet, Hotel Transylvania, and Hallmark Christmas movies) in August, but we also crossed two off of our official list. We also cruised through both seasons of No Good Nic on Netflix, which would fall into the tween/teen category but had a bit of a darker twist. Hallie and I both enjoyed it, but for different reasons: she liked the younger characters and plot, while I liked that Melissa Joan Hart and Sean Astin - blasts from my past actors - play the parents. 

Red = watched in April
Green = watched in May
Blue = watched in June
Orange = watched in July 
Purple = watched in August
Black = yet to watch

The Wedding Singer
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
13 Going on 30
A League of Their Own
Miss Congeniality
Legally Blonde
Pitch Perfect
50 First Dates
Now and Then
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Miss Congeniality 2
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
17 Again
The Prince and Me
Pitch Perfect 2
Pitch Perfect 3
Bring It On
The Princess Bride
Big Daddy
Mean Girls
A Cinderella Story
Sweet Home Alabama
27 Dresses
Life As We Know It
Fever Pitch
Save the Last Dance
The Holiday 
Never Been Kissed
That Thing You Do
Uptown Girls
The Wedding Date
The Wedding Planner
Ever After
The Prince and Me 2
Ice Princess
While You Were Sleeping
Life Size
Mamma Mia
Father of the Bride
Father of the Bride 2
Runaway Bride
My Best Friend's Wedding
Bend it Like Beckham
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
The Cutting Edge

I'm ready to find one or two solidly good adult comedies or dramas in September...any recommendations?
Listening To
I mentioned last month that I wanted to start listening to Jen Hatmaker's "For the Love of the Enneagram" series. Well I listened to it, and it was fantastic. I'm completely fascinated by the Enneagram now, and can't wait to take the test and sort myself out. (And then I'll make everyone I know and love take the test too, so I can sort them out, and figure out how to best interact with them and show them love.) 

At the beginning of the month Hallie discovered Hamilton...so the only other thing I've listened to this month is the soundtrack blaring from her room. Hallie and her friends already have a plan for this year's Halloween costumes, but next year they're going as "Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy".

I couldn't quite figure out where to put new social media favorites (reading? watching? listening to?) so I decided to create a new category called "Following", where I can share the pages and people currently educating and inspiring me. 

New to me this month:
  • For a little laugh, a sweet smile, a heartfelt moment, or a reality check - all from the under-10yo population - check out @LiveFromSnackTime on Instagram.

Favorites I've shared but deserve resharing:
  • For excellent COVID-19 information from an infectious disease researcher working in Atlanta - she is the definitely of "boots on the ground" when it comes to this pandemic, check out @kinggutterbaby on Instagram.
  • For a "dialogue that is honest, straightforward, and accessible to those seeking answers" about race, check out @emmanuelacho on Instagram.

I think I mentioned previously that I did a lot of grout cleaning in July, but since I finished it up in August, I waited until this month's medley to share the products I used. The grout cleaner and sealant did a reasonable job, and while I would buy them again, I'm sure there are plenty of products on the market that would do an equally good job. The Rubbermaid Reveal Power Scrubber brush, however, was AMAZING. It is hands down my favorite new cleaning tool, and I will keep one on hand for the rest of my life.

I bought a few greeting cards and notebooks from Ettavee (www.ettavee.com links to a number of different places that sell her products), and I am in LOVE. She is an incredible artist, and while her work looks stunning on my computer screen, it truly comes alive in person.

Last but not least:

So now I do:

Quarantine Shirt Roll Call! 😂

From The B Side Vinyl
Not sure why the photo looks so dark - this shirt is a bright,
sunny yellow and the blues and greens are vibrant and fun!

From Saturday Morning Pancakes
Could there BE a more perfect shirt for this year?

We only had two new recipe successes this month.
  • First up, this Mushroom and Asparagus One-Pot Pasta was a hit with everyone! (Asparagus and bacon are two of Hallie's favs.) I didn't have bowtie pasta so I used, penne instead, but of course this switch didn't affect the taste at all.
  • Follow that main course with these Thick Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, and you'll have yourself a meal! I didn't have mini chocolate chips so I used regular chocolate chips, and while the larger size chip worked fine, I think the mini version would have stayed mixed in the dough a little more.

I'm skipping Feeling Good About this month, but I promise it'll be back in September's Monthly Medley!

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