5.31 May’s Lookback List

For as fast as the first four months of the year have gone by, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the pace of May. Maybe it’s because the wedding is over now, but there just seems to be less of an urgency…and I have been fully enjoying the downtime to get “normal life” back in order again while also taking the necessary steps and dedication in training a new puppy. I keep telling myself, “All of this will be worth it in the end!”… especially on those mornings where nothing we seem to do can stop him from jumping up on the furniture or barking at the door *eyeroll* (but in all seriousness, Marty is making some real progress, and we’ve officially enrolled him in puppy classes!) Nonetheless, it’s been a productive and fun and busy month in other ways! And so here we are again, with another monthly roundup!

 

MAY’S LOOKBACK LIST:

 

Reading:

 This month I finished reading Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I think this novel is extremely important in today’s world, and I’ve recommended it to a number of friends. It deals with race and the system of law and is so relevant to where we are today as a society. The novel itself takes place in New York City within the last few years, but I think it touches on a subject that a lot of people are afraid to talk about, or don’t fully understand, and I think this story is a great way to open up a dialogue. I’d definitely recommend this for a Book Club book!

The other book I read this month was Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. I was recommended this book by two friends (both named Lauren!) as well as my mom…so I knew it was going to be good! It’s about a young Irish immigrant girl who comes to America, becomes an orphan in New York City, and is then shipped off to the South with a train full of other orphans to be given away to families to do with as they wish. It’s a pretty heartbreaking story with a protagonist who stays pretty damn positive throughout its entirety. I couldn’t put this book down, which made it a perfect story for me during a weekend full of traveling!

I’ve been so lucky this year with great book recommendations! It’s easy to read a book a month when you’re getting such good suggestions … have any of you guys read anything great lately? I’m looking forward to rummaging through the pile of books my mom set aside for me during my next trip back to PA!

 

Planning:

I’m actually taking off this weekend to head back to PA to celebrate my wonderful friend, Lauren’s, Bridal Shower! Between the other Bridesmaids, her mom, and I, we’ve been finalizing all plans this month, and we’re so ready to shower our beautiful bride-to-be with all of our love!!

 

 Watching:

My neighbor, Lauren, and I took a weekend to binge watch HBO’s new series, Big Little Lies, starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley. It’s a murder mystery drama 7-episode series based on a novel, that takes place in Monteray, CA. It has a pretty stacked cast and the music is awesome. (I’ve been jamming to the playlist on Spotify now all month, and have been adding songs to my own playlists!) The show would definitely be rated R, so I wouldn’t recommend for a younger audience. It’s definitely binge-watch worthy, because you won’t be able to wait to find out who was murdered, and who the killer is … 😉

And oddly enough, I was on a bit of a Disney Pixar kick this month and watched both The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory. They were both cute!

 

Cooking:

Believe it or not, we’ve actually been finding lots of time to cook this month! Alex and I are on the same work schedule for the time being, so we’ve been enjoying some late “Linners” (lunch + dinner) together. We’ve been trying to cook up something interesting once a week to mix up our normal chicken – steak – salmon rotation. This month we made a couple of different Tofu recipes, and I even whipped up some super easy Stuffed Peppers, because we had almost all of the ingredients already! I used –> this recipe, here, but added diced onions instead of onion powder because that was the only ingredient we didn’t have! They were really good, and it’s a good base recipe to add any other flavors/ingedients that you might like!

Eating:

We celebrated Cinco de Mayo this month with our neighbors the right way … with carne asada street tacos that Josh and Lauren whipped up, my homemade guacamole, and delicious Jalapeno Margaritas!

 

Drinking:

 That being said, –> here’s the recipe we used for the Spicy Jalapeño Margaritas! After having these, I don’t think I’ll ever buy pre-mixed marg mix ever again. Even if you’re not a huge jalapeño fan, I think you’ll like these!

 

Crafting:

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 I finally got back into weaving this month and finished a weaving that I had been working on for a whole month! And then I made two little moon weavings as a Bridal Shower gift for my friend Rachael to hang in their future Airstream home! I’ve also been making more macramé plant hangers in preparation for the summer. It’s felt really good to get back into making again, and I’m even more excited to make even more come June!

 

Going:

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I wrote my last post about our Mini Moon trip to Santa Barbara, but this month I also took a weekend to go back to PA for Rachael’s Bridal Shower. It was a great weekend jam-packed from start to finish. I spent a Friday in Philly with my older brother, Jim … we spent the day grabbing coffee and lunch and then I got to attend his Student Art Show, where he presented one of his students with a scholarship!! It was really something else to see him interacting with his kids and to see firsthand how much they love and respect him. Those kids are so talented, and I left there feeling so inspired by him! Rach’s Shower was held at Armstrong Winery in Halifax, and it was beautiful! Her mom and younger sister did such a great job putting the whole day together, and it was so much fun getting to meet the rest of Rach’s Bride Tribe, family, and friends. She is going to make a stunning bride come August! I also got to spend an evening with a few of my gal pals from Harrisburg at the winery nearby, called Spring Gate! I hadn’t been there in such a long time, and was shocked to see how much it has grown! They had a Blues band playing, so we got a few bottles of wine, sat outside, listened to Blues, caught up on life, and laughed … a lot! I really love those kind of little unexpected moments 🙂

 

Celebrating:

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This month we celebrated Cinco de Mayo, Rachael’s upcoming nuptials, and Memorial Day with Fiesta Hermosa down at the beach and some hiking around LA!

 

Loving:

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Usually here I talk about the people (or pups) I’ve been loving, but this month I thought I’d switch it up and talk about some things that I’ve been loving! So, things that I’ve been loving this month: Ladies baseball caps. My new Birkenstock sandals that were on sale at Costco (hell yeah!). Lady dates with Julie and Leah. Puppy play dates in the backyard. Sunset walks at the beach. Hanging out with my big brother in his city. Our new Mid Century Mod dresser from Living Spaces. Hiking with friends. Morning walks with my husband and pup. Cheap flights through Spirit Airlines! And our gorgeous, wonderful, perfect wedding photos!!!! (I promise I’ll post some on here eventually!) What have you guys been loving this month???

 

Feeling:

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This month I’m feeling thankful for the large and small acts of kindness from others! I woke up one morning to a big box in the mail full of dog treats and toys and a “New Puppy” booklet, from my friend’s mom (who’s definitely also the best vet out there). I couldn’t believe it! Of course I set the box down and let Marty choose what he wanted to play with first…and not surprisingly, he chose the biggest bone in the box 😉 Thank you Mrs. Springer…you made this last month of puppy training a lot more bearable! 😉

 

Listening:

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 I feel like this month has been full of music!! For our wedding gift to one another, Alex and I got one another tickets to see Billy Joel in concert at Dodger Stadium. We went with a couple of friends for sushi beforehand, took an Uber to the concert together, and then all sat in our respective seats! Billy holds a very special place in Al and my hearts, as he was our First Dance and our Last Dance at our wedding! It was a really magical night, and I feel so lucky that I’ve gotten to see Billy perform live!

Alex and I have been jamming out to Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man.

Like I mentioned before, I’ve really been digging the Big Little Lies playlist on Spotify, and through it I’ve discovered the band, Villagers. Two of my favorites of theirs include, “Nothing Arrived” and “Memoir.”

And just to mix things up this month, I thought it would be fun to share what we picked for our wedding songs! When we met with our DJ the week of our wedding, he told us that he was super excited about our picks because they were very different from what people typically pick and he was happy to add some new ideas to his list!

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(photo by Vince Ha Photography)

Our Wedding Song Picks:

Bridal Party Entrance: Queen of California, John Mayer.

Bride Entrance: excerpt from Ocean, John Butler Trio .

Bride & Groom Exit: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Stevie Wonder.

Reception Bridal Party Entrance: I Need Never Get Old, Nathaniel Ratecliff & The Nightsweats

Bride & Groom Reception Entrance: You Wreck Me, Tom Petty.

First Dance: Vienna, Billy Joel.

Father / Daughter Dance: Turn Around, Harry Belafonte.

Mother / Son Dance: You’ll Be Blessed, Elton John.

Cake Cutting: Killer Queen, Queen.

Bouquet Toss: Independent Women, Destiny’s Child.

Last Dance: Only The Good Die Young, Billy Joel.

What have you been up to this month!?!

 

xoxo

 

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3 thoughts on “5.31 May’s Lookback List

  1. Lauren, I enjoy reading your blog. I too loved the Orphan Train, which your mom recommended to me. She also suggested City of Women, another good read. On my list to read is The Nightingale, another historical fiction.

    Keep on writing and enjoying life!

    1. Oh! I’ll have to get that one from her next. Right now I’m reading “Plain Truth” by Jodi Picoult…I’ve really been enjoying her books!

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