Lauren Lately | April 2017

Posted April 14, 2017 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 7 Comments

header-llBecause my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month.

✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨


New England weather | I’ve lived in this region my whole life so I’m very familiar with the saying “if you don’t like the weather today, wait until tomorrow.” This past month, it’s been so true! We had one weekend where it snowed and sleeted on Saturday, then was 60* and sunny the next day. We were able to squeak in skiing one more time and then went for a nice walk the next day. It’s crazy!


Hiking and other outdoor activities | I already alluded to this but the weather finally stopped being back-and-forth, so now we’ve got some nice weather. Rain was in the forecast a little over the last week but there were some warm and sunny days too. I’ve been taking full advantage of reading on the porch as much as possible. We’ve also gone for a lot of walks around our apartment and on some new hiking trails.


TV Shows

Showtime showtime shameless shameless tv GIF

Shameless | We’re still moving along through this one, although at a slower pace. The newest season comes out later this year so we don’t want to wait too long in between. We had to work on season 7 on the Showtime app instead of Netflix too. I still love and hate everyone, although my dislike has increased for characters I didn’t really expect. I realllllyy miss old Debbie; she’s the worst. Fiona is usually terrible too. Sigh. I got my parents addicted to this one as well though haha. They finished before us!

Schitt's Creek season 1 pop david schitts creek GIF

Schitt’s Creek | My love Alyssa tweeted about this show a long time ago and it’s been in the back of my mind ever since. I was looking for a super random show to start at the end of last month and pressed play on a whim. I watched all 26 episodes on Netflix within 3 days and LOVE IT so much. It’s super underrated (it’s a Canadian show on a random US channel I don’t even get) and it’s so funny/perfect. David is my favorite.

 the undertaker GIF

Wrestlemania | I’m not sure where this should actually go because it’s more of a one-time special (followed by a fun Monday Night RAW the next day). Chris has been getting more into wrestling lately and I’ve followed suit. It’s ridiculous and so fun. I watched my first Wrestlemania a few weeks ago and it was amazing. I used to love The Undertaker as a kid when my cousins watched wrestling, so seeing his final match made me super sad. It was an awesome show overall but some of the matches toward the end weren’t so great.

Lifetime Telly angry whatever lifetime argument GIF

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce | This is another random show recommended by a friend. She thought I’d like it and she was totally right! I’m done with the first season and getting into the second one now. I love all of the characters even though they’re certainly dumb sometimes. Sorry for the aggressive GIF up there but damn there are limited options out there. So underrated!


Before I Fall Film feels before i fall before i fall film GIF

Before I Fall | This is one of my all-time favorite books, so needless to say… I was nervous. I actually think they did a really good job adapting this one! There were some pieces of the book missing, of course, because you can’t include everything. I enjoyed it a lot. I’m not sure when I’d watch it again, but it was a really solid adaptation. The message stayed consistent and the acting was almost awkward, but in a way that made it feel like REAL life. It’s hard to explain. I’d recommend it! I think if you liked the book, you won’t be disappointed. I went to see this with my book club after we read the book last year (reread for me) and one of the girls even liked the movie more than the book.

Get Out Movie horror smile cool scared GIF

Get Out | Damn, this movie was powerful! Chris doesn’t like horror movies and I don’t usually see them in theaters, so we were a little nervous heading into it. It’s definitely more a psychological thriller instead of horror. I’d HIGHLY recommend it. The political and social commentary was ridiculously well-done. I’m a huge fan of Jordan Peele and this movie only added to my respect for him. An important message with a unique way of bringing attention to it!

Podcasts & Music

I’m still keeping up with my usual podcasts that I’ve mentioned before. I binge-listened to an audiobook series at the end of March, so I wasn’t really starting new podcasts for once! As for music, I’m still listening to my March playlist I shared last month. I don’t go through music really and should probably make a quarterly playlist instead of trying to keep up with monthly ones ?

Image result for s-town Image result for my favorite murder

S-Town | The makers of Serial spoke about S-Town a few months ago and I immediately added it to my to-listen list. They actually released all episodes at once at the end of March, so I started listening once I finished my recent audiobook series binge. It was… different. I wasn’t exactly expecting true crime because it seemed like the story would head in a different direction based on the first episode alone, but it got kind of crazier as it went on? I don’t want to spoil anything because everything after the second episode kinda is… but it just wasn’t what I was hoping for, so I didn’t like it as much as I could have. I’m bummed but I don’t regret listening to it! Also, the artwork for this (above) is gorgeous and relevant.

My Favorite Murder | I don’t know what tempted me to start this one so randomly, but it sounded like a nice break from the norm. Most of my true crime podcasts are related to helping solve a crime or examining serious investigations. This one is literally two best friends chatting about their favorite murder cases. It’s a totally different vibe; I’d even say it’s almost lighthearted because they laugh and make jokes when they can. It’s hard to describe and TOTALLY not for everyone, but I kind of love them. I decided to listen to 10 episodes and then listen to an audiobook, then another 10 issues, then an audiobook, etc. I don’t want to binge all 60+ episodes at once and waste my whole life so we’ll see how well I can stretch it out.


Food & Drink

I have been so ridiculously lazy about food lately. I’ve been buying the pre-marinated meats from my local grocery store and also making simple salads with chicken strips for dinner. I go through such weird phases with cooking! I’ll spend a few months going Pinterest crazy and then get sick of thinking about meals.

Purchases & Addictions

Clothing | I’ve been so bad about buying new clothes but I can’t stop for some reason. I just got my tax return a couple weeks ago so obviously that didn’t help. I am officially DONE now and going to get rid of a bunch more clothes in my closet to make room. I want to highlight this excellent shirt from Teefury (“when in doubt, go to the library” with a bunch of Harry Potter-related items on the shelves) and my comfy errand-running outfit from a few Sundays ago.

Feedly | I finally made the switch over to Feedly instead of Bloglovin! I was tired of the sponsored posts or the blog posts by people I didn’t follow showing up in the frame. I do sometimes miss that frame feature, because I could just keep one tab open and click through posts, but it is nice to be able to comment on blogs better! I’ve noticed I’m commenting more overall. I always had an issue with commenting on a Blogspot blog because it would kick me out of the frame. So far, the switch has been an overall improvement. I’ll click a new tab for each post I want to check out and then mark everything as “read” when I’m done.

Simply Fit Board | My mom mentioned this in passing a month ago and I didn’t think much of it. I decided to do some research a few weeks ago and bought one immediately. It’s basically a curved balance board that you twist on and do different workouts with. I love it so far! I use it every day, but give myself a pass if I did something super active that day (like a long hike or skiing). It’s only $30-40 depending on where you get it. I recorded down the “intro workout” into this app that times you, so I don’t even have to watch the DVD. I feel good when I finish. You can really feel it in your core muscles. I don’t do any other workouts so we’ll see how this stands alone over time! I hope it helps.

Around the Blogosphere

On Trying New Hobbies & Learning New Things {The Perpetual Page-Turner} Jamie’s post really resonated with me. I’m a serial hobby-dropper and really always have been. That’s why it constantly shocks me when I hit a blogging milestone. How have I kept up with this for more than five minutes?! I like her attitude about trying to get out there and doing new things. I hope I can do some of the same!

Genre Phases {Ageless Pages Reviews} I have this happen alllll the time. From her post: “I get stuck in genre phases when it comes to “me reads.” A couple times a year I find myself in the midst of a multi-book-long streak in a certain genre, location, or rarely, series. I can usually trace each marathon back to a 5-star read that was SO GOOD it made me want more just like it — but different.” YEP EXACTLY. Relate so much.

48 Book Tropes/Ideas I’m Weak For {Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist} I loved this post! It was especially helpful when putting together a TTT a few weeks later. I find myself following a lot of trope-related trends but always forget the things I love when making actual lists of them.

Book a Date Guest Feature {Andi’s ABCs} I love Andi’s new guest feature! You can sign up to chat about anything you’re looking forward to and counting down for: book releases, events or concerts, TV show season, etc. The list goes on. I already signed up but have no idea what I’m going to get excited about!

Would You Read a Book Again for the First Time? {Writer of Wrongs} Honestly I wish I had a dollar for every time I said “man, I wish I could wipe my brain clean and read this book again for the first time!”… but never really stopped to think – is that true? Would I want to read it again? I think some books I definitely would love reading over again and being surprised. However, to Gillian’s point, some books are read during certain times in our lives and it’s kind of ~meant to be~ that way. Would I want to read HP all over again? Sure, but I’ll never want to forget the way I felt during that particular time in my life the first time.

5 Days of Salads {Communikait} I love salads. Chris and I would often eat multiple salads in a week for meals just to feel healthier. There are sooo many types of salads to make and eat! I liked Kait’s new recipes here and will totally be trying them. We always try to have meat with our salads though so I can see us adding chicken to a lot of these.


Since Last Time…

1. Go through the garage and put things into storage | FAILWhooops. To be fair, the weather only JUST started getting nice. We have a lot to sift through and it’s challenging to do that when it’s cold outside. I think I need to first invest in those Rubbermaid totes and we can get going.

2. Pay down bills and credit cards | MOSTLY PASSI got my tax return and immediately paid a lot of things. I wanted to use some of it to pay my credit card but looong story short, that didn’t happen. I’m going to keep paying more toward my card now that I’m feeling good financially. It’s not a super big priority because I have some commission coming in soon that’ll help with that. I need to work on paying for my car and getting that situation settled once my lease is up.

3. Spend 15 minutes per day outside | PASSI didn’t really actively pay attention to this one? But we’ve done a good job of being outside, walking around, going for hikes, and sitting on the porch. The warm weather increases the odds of this happening by a lot!

4. Get back on a good diet plan | MOSTLY FAIL | So I kind of am giving myself a break for a little bit. Using the calorie counting app for quite a few months was really helpful. I started losing a bit of weight but really hated limiting myself on things I love. It helped me learn how many calories are in certain things and the whole “everything in moderation” theory. As I said above, I’m much more active in warm weather. I hope to keep up with my exercise and hiking/walking routine to balance out my more lenient diet.

5. Read only “owned books” for April | MOSTLY PASSSo we’re only halfway through the month at this point and I’ve done almost no reading. I got addicted to REBEL ANGELS so I didn’t read ROAR when I was supposed to for an ARC tour. Otherwise, I finished MILK AND HONEY in one sitting on the first of the month. I technically own one of those books. I’ll say that I haven’t made much reading progress period, but I am actively paying attention to the books I should be reading. So we’ll see how the second half of the month goes!

Goals Until Next Time

1. Work up a new budget worksheet or something | Essentially, figure out my financial situation so I understand what I pay for everything in my life. I’m buying my car after the lease so I need to know!

2. Finished Owned Book April strong and start packing up books | I have books everywhere and need to do something with them. I hope to keep banging out books for my Owned Book April personal challenge, so I can start putting things into storage or donating.

3. Start working on one of the shows from my Netfix & Books To-Be-Watched List | I keep making zero progress on those shows and watching others that weren’t on my radar. I need to get going on these because I know I’ll regret not prioritizing them.

4. Use my planner more (and better!) | I do fill out my planner each week but it’s embarrassing how little I actually look at it. I was convinced I had a hair appointment this week and it’s actually next week. Why don’t I just look at the damn thing before making plans and getting all worked up?!

5. Enjoy 1-2 meals on the patios at restaurants | I love dining outside. So much. We don’t have a good porch for it because we just have two plastic Adirondack chairs. I want to go out to dinner a couple of times with Chris or with friends and be sure to utilize the patios – before it gets too hot out!


Very long lunch date with my friends // The official “will you be my bridesmaid?” gift from Alaina // Photographic
evidence of new leggings I loved and was only able to wear for one day, since they ripped. RIP // Wrestlemania snacks
and beer // Reading on the porch // Ice cream and springy leggings // Walking the path near our apartment // New skirt


Coming Up in My Life

End of April | Again, I have my mom and sister’s birthday (yes it falls on the same day, which is a struggle since it’s my half-sister from my dad and not my mom). We also have Chris’s mom’s birthday to celebrate too. The warm weather will hopefully bring us out for more hikes! We also have plans to go up to Berkshire East (where we usually ski) to check out the ropes course and mountain roller coaster.

Early May | Our plan is to definitely continue cleaning, organizing, and packing our apartment. I want to get rid of sooooo many things and reorganize our storage space.

Talk to meeeee! What’s new?

7 responses to “Lauren Lately | April 2017

  1. The weather has been nuts here but finally seems to be settling in with normal spring temps thankfully. I just started S-Town and on episode 2 and it is weird!! I will stick with it though. I have wondered about the Simply Fit Board. I don’t have a ton of time to workout and if it worked it would be nice to squeeze in when I can. I will have to look into it more. Hope you have a great next month!

  2. Oooh, it’s so pretty there. I live in the desert but I miss having trees and rivers and lakes and mountains. So jealous 🙂

    Ooh my husband and I just added Shameless to our queue. Once I finish this current GoT rewatch I am def gonna jump into that one. I’ve heard such good things and I love Emmy Rossum — I am prepared for Fiona’s terribleness at least lol.

    The Before I Fall DVD is out soon! I am like you.. nervous. I loved the book when I first read it. It’s been years and I am scared my favorite bits will be some of the parts you say are missing! Oh well. I’ll probably at least rent this one since I trust you ^_^

    LOVE the shirt! And your cardigan.

    I need to do the feedly switch but I am le tired. Well more like le lazy. But good job!

    Oh my gosh– thank you for linking my blog and also finding some AWESOME links for me to discover.

    woot Rebel Angels woooot

    budget worksheets are such smart ideas! One day I will also do this. One day.

  3. I’m SO nervous to watch the Before I Fall movie!! The trailer didn’t look like what I was picturing it in my head to look like, so —-instantly NERVOUS!! But I will definitely watch it anyway bc it’s one of my favorite books EVER.

    Also, that My Favorite Murder podcast looks interesting. I’m just now getting into listening to podcasts– probably because I just started one with some friends. It’s called We Know What You Did on Fear Street. If you read Fear Street as a kid, you might find it fun 🙂

  4. I finally listened to Serial, my first ever podcast, this week because I hurt my back and there wasn’t much else I could do. I devoured it! What do you recommend I listen to next? I love True Crime, but I could try other things. 🙂

  5. My city-dwelling self always gets so jealous of all your gorgeous nature pictures! AHHHH I love My Favorite Murder so much!! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. I’m still making my way through S-Town, and I must say that though it’s pretty different from what I expected, I really like it. I also definitely need to get better at using my planner and looking at it more often.

  6. I am sending you ALLLLL the good vibes and well wishes for cleaning/packing/moving. It’s EXHAUSTING. And then you have all of the unpacking and organizing to do on the other end once you arrive at your new place…ugh. SO many things have been moved to the back burner with our recent move (cooking, exercising reading…) and we have NOT been eating as healthy as we should. BUT I’m excited for your new adventure ahead when you do move!

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