Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Monthly Medley: June 2023


This month I devoured Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah. Despite the title and what a friend of mine (who is also a mother to two toddlers) kind of hoped when she saw me reading it, this is not a manual about how to raise kids. šŸ˜‰ The premise of this novel got me started and the plot kept me hooked through 300+ twisty and turn-y pages...most of which I panic-read in two days knowing that the book was overdue at the library. 



While flying to and from Wisconsin, I watched She Said, about the journalists who exposed the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and The Independent, about a journalist who discovers a conspiracy involving the most popular candidate in the presidential race. I enjoyed both films - for different reasons despite their similar "journalist(s) uncover(s) scandal" themes - and would definitely recommend them.

Tom and I are watching From, a suspenseful, science fiction horror series created by the same team that created Lost. It's a little too gory for me at times, but the story is too intriguing for me to not continue watching...so I just hide behind my pillow and peek one eye out at a time.

Modern Family was one of my favorites when it originally aired, and I figured Hallie would enjoy it as well. I was right, and it's been fun to watch this semi-dysfunctional family comedy for the second time. 

I mentioned a few months ago that I had started watching So Help Me Todd, and I bring it up again because it has turned out to be my favorite new show of this past year. If you're looking for a binge-worthy comedic drama, this is it!

Listening To

Nothing new to report here... I have a couple of podcasts in the queue to try - Dark House and Dark Downeast (a "dark" theme?) - but haven't felt all that motivated to delve into anything new. It sounds silly, but when it's SO hot outside (August temperatures arrived a few months early to Texas this year) I can only listen to my tried and true podcasts, those that I KNOW can distract me from the miserable heat.


It's a simple page, but I've enjoyed View From Your Window group on Facebook. Sometimes I read the captions, sometimes I don't...but I always like seeing the world through other people's eyes. If it weren't dark outside right now, I'd share the view from my window...

I'm also a relatively new fan of Jeff Jackson (@jeffjacksonnc). He's a freshman congressman from North Carolina, and it's been eye-opening to follow along as he was elected and sworn in, and then began work in Washington. I appreciate his perspective, honesty, and candor as he navigates his new position. 


I finally caved and bought a plastic bag holder in which to store my plastic bags (rather than storing them in another plastic bag). I admit that this simple product does in fact make the process of cleaning the kitty litter - and therefore my life, given that I clean a lot of litter boxes - easier.

I tried this sunless tanning mousse and this mitt to apply the product, and I really like both. The mousse goes on smoothly, has a pleasant and mild scent, and adds color gradually.

Eyeliner, specifically the wing, is my (and Hallie's) least favorite component of dance make up. Another dancer/dance mom recommended this eyeliner stamp, and while I didn't believe it could do the job, it actually does! Getting ready for dance performances is going to go so much more smoothly now...


This is kind of silly, but these are my favorite socks. I like them better than all other athletic brands, and better than Bombas...

I bought this dress as a replacement for a different gray dress I had (and liked), which was ruined when a poorly sealed spray bottle of cleaner with bleach leaked into and then out of the Target bag it came home in. I think I like it better than my original gray dress, in part because it looks nice hanging straight as well as with a belt.


Back in the kitchen again! In June I cooked or baked something for my family - dinner, or if it wasn't dinner, a heavy snack, breakfast bread, or dessert - almost every day. After months of really phoning it in when it came to meal planning and preparation, I feel like I'm finally moving in the direction I want to be moving when it comes to feeding my family.

This Fish Tacos recipe went over reasonably well with everyone but Hallie (she has an aversion to fish in her beloved tacos). Will didn't love the fish filets I chose, but he said the slaw was "amazing." I made two adjustments to the recipe: first, I didn't mix the queso fresco into the slaw and instead served it on the side, and I didn't use cilantro since both Tom and I think it tastes like soap.

The real winner was this Blueberry Crumble Bars - they were delicious, all the more so because of the homemade (but not at all difficult or time consuming) blueberry filling.

Feeling Good About

  • I didn't know it was possible to love Mr. Rogers or Koko the gorilla more...
  • I can't find a shareable version of this video, but since it's just of a woman - @andreagibson - talking to the camera, I'll simply share what she says. "So years ago I was on a plane with a three-year-old girl who was flying for the very first time and she was super nervous and right as the wheels lifted off the ground, she hollered, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" And she hollered it so loud that 32 rows of passengers aged in reverse until we were all the exact age we were the first time we said, 'wow, look at this world.' Einstein said you can look at the world one of two ways: like nothing is a miracle or everything is a miracle. I can't imagine choosing nothing." 
  • As Pride Month comes to an end, a "love note" courtesy of @zeaink:

Cheers to the end of June and the arrival of July!

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