Monday, May 1, 2017

Podcasts, Books, Workouts and Looks of April

Oh boy, April was a total blur. Between 2 wedding showers, lots of wedding tasks and appointments, and a super busy month at work, I feel like my head is spinning. I know that May will fly by, too, but I am going to really try to soak up the joy and excitement of the weeks leading up to the wedding! We'll see how well I do at that!


On Being - Resilience After Unimaginable Loss. In this episode, the host of On Being, Krista Tippett, interviews Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, the authors of the new book Option B. Sheryl Sandberg lost her husband nearly 2 years ago. He had a cardiac event while they were on vacation in Mexico. In this book, she shares what she and her co-author have learned about resiliency after a tragic loss and how to support others going through tragic losses. Sandberg talks about how lonely she felt after the loss of her husband because people avoided talking to her at work, at school and in social settings. Or if they talked to her, it was small talk. People were afraid to ask her how she was doing out of fear that bringing up her husband would remind her that she lost him. But Sandberg says that no one needed to remind her that she lost her husband - it was on her mind every day. So by not talking about her husband, the loss of him felt unacknowledged. Our culture is so terrible at dealing with loss or difficult diagnoses. I'm planning to read this as I want to be better at supporting people that are going through difficult things.

With Friends Like These - Being Called Racist is White People's Kryptonite. In this episode, the host of With Friends Like These, Ana Marie Cox, interviews Criminal Defense Attorney Greg Doucette. Since he works in criminal defense, he has witnessed the racial profiling that happens in his county of NC first hand in his work with clients. However, the discussion about racial profiling is not anecdotal - it's supported by the details of arrests that have been made public. He also talks about leaving the Republican party and filing as an independent after being a very involved member because he feels he cannot support a party that supports Donald Trump (I feel the same way). You only need to listen to the first 45-50 minutes of the podcast to hear about the racial profiling as after that it delves into interracial dating.


April was a stellar reading month for me! Despite being super busy, I managed to read 8 books. People often ask me how I find so much time to read. The answer is that I make time for it! I watch very, very little tv and read for at least an hour before bed each night. I also was able to read more this month as I wasn't able to work out as much as I normally do thanks to my 2 RA flares. It's tough to pick a favorite - any of the 5-star books are worth checking out! My least favorite was Luckiest Girl Alive. It seems like this is a book that you will either love or hate. I hated it because I felt the protagonist was such an unlikable, manipulative person. If you can enjoy books with unlikable characters then you might like it, though!

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson - 5 stars (for book club with a coworker)
Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild - 5 stars (advocacy read)
Notes from a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider - 4 stars
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi - 5 stars (one of my best reads of 2017)
March:  Book Two by John Robert Lewis (amazing 2nd book of his Civil Rights Trilogy)
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll - 2 stars
The Mothers by Brit Bennett (another one of my best reads of 2017)
Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash - 4 stars


When I wasn't flaring, my workouts were great and were a combination of running, sessions with my personal trainer and barre classes. When I was flaring, my workouts were non-existent. It was tough to miss nearly 2 weeks of working out the month before my wedding as I need workouts to relieve stress and to make sure I look my very best on my wedding day. Since I wasn't able to workout as much as I would like, I tried to be very careful about what I was eating which is way less fun than managing your weight by working out.


You've seen 2 of these 3 looks as they were from my bridal showers.  I didn't buy either of these dresses as I already had them in my closet! I need to make a point to wear them more often as they are flattering silhouettes.

My other favorite look from the month was from the day of my haircut and color. We went with a lighter shade of brown that is closer to my natural color as I think it will photograph better with my untanned skin than the darker color I usually have my stylist use. My hair girl curled my hair so I would feel extra pretty when I left my appointment. In this photo I'm also wearing a new rain coat I bought in April! My friend got the same coat in green and then another coworker loved it so much that she bought it in navy!  I got it on sale at Macy's and would highly recommend it if you are looking for a rain coat!  Although you might want to buy it elsewhere as they are out of many of the sizes in navy online.


Abby said...

I read Luckiest Girl Alive quite some time ago and it did not really stick with me so I can agree it was not the Best.

I pray that this RA flare is behind you!!!! What a crazy month April was for you.

I love your hair curled. So pretty!! That color looks great on you!! And I love that rain jacket. There are 2 things I really want ( but wont buy since we live in AZ): hunter boots and a rain jacket. But I would never use them in AZ - but maybe 2 days a year? Maybe. Usually when it rains, it is hot too.

That podcast "on resilience" sounds super familiar. I think I recently heard a snippet of one of her speeches. Our culture is terrible about death and dying. And I agree to always want to be better at supporting people in difficult times!

Charbelle said...

You looked so gorgeous!!!!! LOVED!!!!! Your hair looks fabulous!!!! I'm glad you posted the reads as I needed a few good recommendations!

Stephany said...

I love With Friends Like These! She has such interesting guests on her show. I'm a few episodes behind, though, so I don't think I've listened to that episode yet. Looking forward to it!

Your hair looks great! Nothing like a hairstylist doing your hair, is there? Haha. :)

Marlys said...

I wish I had a personal hairstylist living in my home - what luxury! Your hair looks amazing and I really like the color.
It is hard to believe that two weeks from today will be the Monday of the week of your wedding! Yikes! I hope you do enjoy the remaining days and be as stress free as possible!

Carolina John said...

That podcast seems fascinating - and I feel the same way about the repubs. Been blowing it for years. ugh.

LOVE those dresses! So cute. But you always look great so I'm not really surprised.

Wedding day is almost here!

Leigh said...

Love both of those dresses on you! And love that coat too. If I was rich, I would have my hair and make up done all the time. It's amazing how much better it makes you feel!

katielookingforward said...

I am in the market for a new rain coat! or rather i have one that definitely does not fit currently. I'm slowly easing in to my sundresses, but this weather isn't helping, Even with tights/sweaters its a little too chilly.

Gracie said...

Love the raincoat, too. I love gold buttons - they seem naval. Your hair is lovely light brown!

Jeanie said...

Looking fabulous, Lisa -- I love the raincoat -- I need a new one. And thanks for the book recommendations!

Caroline said...

Looove your hair and those 2 dresses! And I really want to listen to that podcast episode now.. thanks! I needed a new one

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Those dresses look lovely on you, and the hair is very pretty! Your wedding is coming up quickly!!!!!!! You must be getting so excited :-)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Wow! 8 books! That is a lot, even if you are making time for it. However, I also read a lot of books this month due to having to take over a week off of running, and it really does add up!! I would say if I broke down my month in terms of time spent, it would normally go: running, yard work, reading (in the spring/summer/fall, with reading trumping yard work in winter), so if I cut out running and/or yard work, I can get a ton of reading done! I really liked Homegoing too. I have not read any of your other five star books, although I have had Strangers on my hold queue for ages! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it, as I have been wanting to read it forever and I hate it when you finally get a book off of hold and it is not good.

Amber said...

I am sooo late commenting on this - but you DID look INCREDIBLE at your wedding despite missing some workouts, so there's that :)

Both those podcasts sound incredibly interesting, I am going to listen to them both! I also have Option B on my TBR list and put it on hold at the library recently.