Five on Friday displays the the top five things that have been on my mind this week! It could be book-related, but it may be music, movies, TV, personal life, food, etc. I’ll generally be posting these biweekly and linking up with Friday Favorites (hosted by A Little Bit of Everything, Grace and Love, and Momfessionals). Previous posts can be found here! I did start my numbering over, since it’ll be a little different than my previous iterations…
Podcasts: Motherhacker and Red Ball
Motherhacker: This was one of those super unexpected podcast binges that happen to me (very rarely, lately)! I really enjoyed the Sandra podcast by Gimlet and had been wondering if any similar podcasts would be produced by them. Mission accomplished! I listened to the preview and first episode one morning before work, just out of curiosity, and then ended up listening to the entire show in one day. The episodes are short and super interesting. Basically, a mom starts getting robocalls and ends up getting scammed out of some money. Judging from the title, you might be able to guess what happens next. The final two episodes were wild and had unexpected twists, which was damn cool. Apple currently is putting the episodes out one-by-one, but you can listen to the entire season on Spotify right now.
Red Ball: I’m a huge fan of the Crime Junkie podcast and, as a Patreon member, got access to the entire four-part Red Ball podcast this week! It was pretty intriguing and definitely had me looking more into the Burger Chef Murders from the 1970s. Super interested to hear season two and highly recommend checking this one out.
I’m waaaay ahead of the game this year, I think! I already have Chris done (went way over budget, whoops), as well as all of the exchanges I take place in (two Secret Santas with friends and The Broke & Bookish Secret Santa). I have a few odds and ends taken care of for my parents, Chris has his parents’ gifts on lock, I’m making progress on his sister’s gifts… Just a lot of success so far and I’m glad to be checking these boxes early and not panicking later!
Trader Joe’s Lately & Upcoming
So TJ’s has been slowly putting their seasonal stuff out and I’m loving it. I didn’t really like the pumpkin spice coffee grounds this fall so I was super ready to go for the gingerbread. It’s sooo much better! I enjoyed the cranberry chevre (I think I actually had one with orange involved too?) and just bought blueberry to try too. I got the Chili Onion Crunch, which is supposed to be good on everything but I will definitely need to look up recipe and snack ideas! The Cheesy Trees are my FAVORITE from last year and fingers crossed they come back this season. Finally, I’d like to try the Herbacious Cheesy Bites – they look delicious for the air fryer!
I decided that I wanted to watch one Christmas movie per day between November 15th and December 25th! This is relatively easy given the number of Hallmark movies available multiple days per week 😉 If you’re curious to see my reviews and progress, click here – it’ll bring you to MY tweets with that hashtag. I’ve done a decent job so far but I think I might be one or two behind? It’s basically just a way for me to keep my holiday spirit going. I know there will be plenty of days in December where I watch two movies, so I’ll make up for it. I guess my basic goal is to watch 40 Christmas movies this year.
New 2020 Challenge Ideas
Yes, I’m repeating this from last Five on Friday, because I am finally ACTUALLY debating my 2020 challenges. I did think, broadly, about what I want from reading challenges (since I kind of sort of quit mine this week? or randomly decided to be ~over it~), but now I’m finding the roundup posts and analyzing my moves. Here are some top options I’m thinking of right now:
Popsugar Reading Challenge – Popsugar
I know for sure I’m doing this one in 2020! I joined the Facebook group recently, where they were teasing us with one prompt released per day for a little while… and people definitely got feisty about it! Now that the actual list is released, I’m ready to start planning my reading for next year and join again.
Monthly Motif OR Monthly Keyword – Girlxo
I did this one in 2019 and it’s actually the only one I’m committed to finishing this year. I really enjoyed it! Coming up with books to meet certain themes or motifs was highly enjoyable for me, and I managed to read TWO each month instead of one. I’m considering doing it again, OR switching to their Monthly Keyword Challenge. It’s a little more specific because it’s about specific words in the TITLE of the book. But, there’s a lot of flexibility where you can broaden it (one example they give is if the keyword is “food” you can have a title with “cake” instead, etc.). It sounds fun and a little more challenging without being too much.
Calendar of Crime – My Reader’s Block
I’ve been reading a lot more mysteries lately so I’ve been thinking it’d be fun to do a challenge about them. Like the Retellings Challenge from 2019, I want to push myself to actually read books I add to my TBR. The main difference is that I do read some mysteries after adding them 😉 This challenge has monthly prompts or themes to build out a calendar of options for each month. Your one crime/mystery book for the month should match one of them.
AtoZ Reading Challenge – Ginger Mom & Company
I’ve always been curious about this kind of reading challenge: you read one book for each letter of the alphabet. It’s simple in theory, but there are plenty of months that will have harder letters! To take this into account, they have mini challenges throughout the year that, when completed, allow you to make swaps. There are some other readathons and games involved too.