Books I Read This Week 2020 – 29

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.


Frends and Strangers (3 stars): Usually, I tend to love books where “nothing happens.” That generally means the book is focused on characters and that I get to see them and dive deeply to the characters’ experiences, thinking and choices and see their growth. In this story, even though “nothing happens” I didn’t feel the kind of depth I wish were there instead. I didn’t dislike the book but I also didn’t love it.


What’s Your Enneatype? (5 stars): I have never been a fan of the enneagram (or other tests TBH) but for some reason I really wanted to read this book so in preparation for it, I took 6 tests online just to see how consistent they would be, and of course, they disagreed with each other. But through the process, I found a number that I thought might be the most likely fit for me.

Thanks to this lovely and beautifully designed book, I was able to dig a bit deeper and the more i read, the most it resonated with me. I have since read several other books and have now become slightly obsessed with enneagram (like so many seem to be.)

This book is not a fully standalone book. It doesn’t have a test (but you can easily find several online for free.) and it doesn’t go into pages and pages and pages of depth for each number but it does have a lot of the basic and layered information for each number. So if you’re like me and wanted to take the plunge but didn’t think you could ever really find your number, this might be a good fit for you, too. And if you know your number and appreciate well-designed books, you will love this, too.

with gratitude to netgalley and Quarto Publishing Group for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


Kawaii Doodle World (4 stars): I got this book so that I could do some of these lovely drawings with my little one. The characters and decorations are really fun and the author does a wonderful job of both breaking them down and building them up so you can see how to make really simple drawings and then how to use those skills to create more complex scenes. It’s the perfect starter book if you or your kids are interested in drawing these cute doodly characters.

with gratitude to Quarto Publishing Group and netgalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


Ordinary Hazards (3.5 stars): “It occurs to me that the expression ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’ carries with it a false idea of forward progress.”

This book was hard for me to connect with it. At its core, this is a story about grief. Most of the story takes place at a bar, where the main character goes back and forth between being in the present day and recounting what’s going on in the bar and unwinds her story to tell us what happened until now.

The grief this character is feeling is so deep that there’s disconnection and numbing which made it very hard for me to connect with the character. If she’s not feeling her feelings, it’s really hard for me to feel them. I have to imagine them.

While I totally understand that this is an absolutely valid reaction to grief, I feel my feelings so much and so deeply that it was really hard for me to sit with this character with all that’s going on both in the past and the present and not be longing for more. I wanted to dig deeper. Deeper into her and her husband too (whom we get to know so little of really.)

I think while the story might be similar to some of Celeste Ng’s work, the feeling of this book definitely resonated more with the Claire Messud comparison for me. That empty feeling is so hard for me to reckon and connect with.

With gratitude to netgalley and Atria Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Dilemma (2 stars): I grabbed this because I wanted to continue to read something easy and fun and fast moving. I liked “The Breakdown” and thought it was really fast moving. Alas this one is wildly different. No major twists, no major revelations, just a husband and wife musing and worried about two different and major things, never talking to each other and then then when they do, they do, and nothing really happens. Very much unlike The Breakdown.


Know My Name (5 stars): I put off reading this book for quite some time. I live a handful of streets from Stanford and had, of course, heard of Chanel Miller’s story. I knew this book would completely break my heart and make me angry and sad. I didn’t know it would also make me hopeful. Chanel’s bravery and willingness to speak up didn’t result in a positive outcome for her but it did cause some tangible change for those who will come after her (because unfortunately there will always be more.) There are new laws now because of her. The judge is now gone because of her. These are permanent changes as a result of her willingness to speak up, her willingness to endure the pain and incredibly long journey of standing up for herself in court. I am so sorry for all she’s endured and so grateful for victims who’re willing to speak up and help the world become a juster place for everyone else in the process.


Self Care (3 stars): I am of two minds on this one. I liked both the punchy and seamless incorporation of jabbing fun at the wellness industry and social media. I liked the references dropped all over the book that make you smile (or chuckle) with knowing. It was laugh out loud funny at parts.

And yet, the characters were so one-dimensional and there were some dark issues that the book explores (especially towards the end) that just didn’t fit properly into this sarcastic and funny novel especially because they were not treated with the gravitas they deserve.


And there we go, grateful to be reading.


Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Living Wild – 29

Weekly Intention: I didn’t do awesome with my intentions last week. Still triggering quite a bit. I guess this week I need to aim for slowing down and being in the present moment more.

This month’s intention is: July: Run Wild: Settle into the summer. Enjoy the wild. Use the energy of the sunshine and the long days.  Step into it. Honor it. Bask in it. I am definitely sitting in the sun but I am also definitely not going into the wild.

One way I will show up this week:  slow.

I will go into the wild:  i am considering doing some Friday adventures.

This week, I will pay attention to: when and how i start going downhill.

One new thing I will begin this week: still seeking an evening routine.

One magic I will create: my magic this week will be making Friday plans.

One thing I hope to release: my thoughts.

One thing I will join in on: book club this week!

One area I will practice being open: that things will and can turn around.

I am looking forward to: more climbing this week

This week’s challenges: just getting out of my mental space.

Top Goals:

  • Work: make a plan for the week, start creating space, one more thing for packet. keep email clean.
  • Personal: continue with daily peloton + running + climbing, go back to eating the wild. draw. journal. do art. sleep earlier. continue 100 days of mantras. pick more friends to connect with.
  • Family: support nathaniel and david and jake. cook. walk. hike together. climb with jake. friday adventures.

I will focus on my values (love, learn, peace, service, gratitude): i want to go back to loving what is. choosing to be curious. serving others and being present to gratitude.

This week, I want to remember: things can change in a moment.


Living Wild is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Weekly Reflection 2020 – 28

The Wildest Part of this Week was: I was mostly feeling down this week. I think I am worn out and need a longer vacation/time to process all that’s going on and all that I’m feeling about it. Nothing was all that wild this week.

Top Goals Review:  

  • Work: i did not really make a plan for the week, i’ve been trying to hold on to the free time i have during the week so I can get through the email load and some weeks i totally can do it while other weeks it just doesn’t work out. I did not do one more thing for packet. I sort of kept email clean. It’s not clean but it’s also not terrible this week.
  • Personal: continued with daily peloton + running 3x week + climbing 3x a week, did not go back to eating the wild but doing better. drew 4x this week. journaled every day. did no other art. did sleep earlier some days. finished 100 days of noticing. did not pick more friends to connect with.
  • Family: doing poorest in this area, I think. just not doing enough.

I celebrate: making it through this week, this was another rough week.

I am grateful for: the good weather, moments with my hubby and that my kids give me lots of hugs/

This week, I exercised: i ran 3 times for 30 minutes, I did peloton daily between stretching, strength, yoga, mediation, walking and running. i went climbing with Jake 3 times.

This week, I answered the Call of the Wildnothing this week. it’s been a quiet week.

I embraced Silence of the Wilderness: journaling daily still. Doing the artistic MBSR class from this book.

This week’s Wildcard was: no wildcard this week.

I said yes to: having a little mini date with Jake.

I said no to: not enough.

Core Desired Feelings (leap, soft, release, join, delight) Check-in: Still feeling too triggered lately, trying to pay attention.

My mood this week was: tired

I am proud of: i climbed pretty hard this week, especially friday.

I release: i want to release my attachment to feeling the way i feel.

Here’s what I learned this week: i forget what matters most and get frustrated about things out of my control. it doesn’t have to be this way.

What I love right now: Jake and i are watching the babysitter’s club and it’s giving us much joy.


Weekly Review 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Moments of 2020 – 28


Moments of 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Books I Read This Week 2020 – 28

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.


Party of Two (3.5 stars): I can’t help myself. I love Guillory’s books. I love her characters, I love the snippy dialogue, I love how both strong and human they are. Her women characters are always awesome and have strong friendships, solid jobs and skills, and self-confidence without being full of themselves with a mix of healthy vulnerability. For as long as she keeps writing, I will keep reading.


Follow Me (3 stars): I kept putting this book off every time it became available at the library. Just couldn’t get myself to read it. But this weekend I finally felt like maybe it will do the trick. And it did. It was relatively fast paced, kept my attention throughout and I wasn’t expecting much so it delivered what I needed. I already read too many books on the harmfulness of social media so, to me, the overall message was meh.


Happy & You Know It (3.5 stars): This was another fast paced quick read that had a lot of the same topics I’ve read lately. Mommy bloggers, how social media is not good, rich mommies have nothing to do with their time, etc etc. But it was funny, kept me interested and had several surprises that I didn’t anticipate so it was a win in my book 🙂


142 Ostriches (3.5 stars): I had never heard of this book. I randomly borrowed it from the library because it looked fun. And it was a great story even if it wasn’t “fun.” This is the story of Tallulah who lives on her grandmother’s ostrich farm and her grandmother dies and leaves the farm to her. She doesn’t want to keep it. The book is about identity, parenthood, family, relationships and reckoning with all the familial dysfunction. I really enjoyed my time with it.


I Was Told It Would Get Easier (3.5 stars): Abbi Waxman has some funny one liners in this book. She also has some lines that really were too flippant for me. This is the story of a mom and a daughter on a college tour. The mom and the daughter alternate chapters so you can get to know both of them. The daughter’s chapters really did sound like a young adult so I think she did a good job there. The story was funny and had some clever bits. I doubt it will stay with me but I enjoyed the time I spent with it.


The Other Mrs. (3 stars): If twisty, creepy mystery books are your thing, you will like this offering from Kubica. I find that I enjoy these when I am in the mood for them. There were definitely a handful of twists in this one that I couldn’t guess in advance and I enjoyed the time I spent with it.


The Swap (1 star): I absolutely hated this book. Hated it. I hated the characters so much. I hated every single one of them and I hated the story. I kept waiting for it to redeem itself but it never did. I was so consumed by how much I disliked it that I almost want to give it a higher rating for its ability to elicit such a strong reaction from me. If you read the other reviews, you’ll see that many people liked this book. So you have to ignore my review for this one since I am such an outlier. I clearly should have just DNF’ed it.


And there we go, grateful to be reading.


Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Living Wild – 28

Weekly Intention: Here’s the deal. I am struggling at the moment. My brain is going a mile a minute. I am anxious about stuff at work, I am anxious about school next year, I am anxious about surgery my son will have in a few weeks. I am just tired, anxious, and a mess. So my intention this week is to give myself space. To notice my thoughts, remind myself that I am not my thoughts and to be really really really kind to myself. And I am going to jiust assume the best

This month’s intention is: July: Run Wild: Settle into the summer. Enjoy the wild. Use the energy of the sunshine and the long days.  Step into it. Honor it. Bask in it. I am definitely sitting in the sun but I am also definitely not going into the wild. I’ll have to think more on this one.

One way I will show up this week:  quiet.

I will go into the wild:  no plans this week either. i will think about this.

This week, I will pay attention to:my thoughts. where i am going a mile a minute.

One new thing I will begin this week: well i will be starting the new art. even though i still don’t feel like i have it down.

One magic I will create: no idea on this one 🙁 maybe i will send some presents to a friend.

One thing I hope to release: stress and anxiety still win here.

One thing I will join in on: new gyms are opening so we’ll see.

One area I will practice being open: i want to be open to the possibility that what my mind is telling me is not actually the truth.

I am looking forward to: having a more peaceful week hopefully.

This week’s challenges: i have two 6am gym trips this week.

Top Goals:

  • Work: make a plan for the week, start creating space, one more thing for packet. keep email clean.
  • Personal: continue with daily peloton + running + climbing, go back to eating the wild. draw. journal. do art. sleep earlier. continue 100 days of noticing. pick more friends to connect with.
  • Family: support nathaniel and david and jake. cook. walk. hike together. climb with jake.

I will focus on my values (love, learn, peace, service, gratitude): be ok with who you are. lean into it. assume the best of others. choose peace over anything else.

This week, I want to remember: i’ve been here before and I know how to get to the other side of this.


Living Wild is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Weekly Reflection 2020 – 27

The Wildest Part of this Week was: This was a relatively quiet week. The wildest part of the week was getting the kids to the dentist. They hadn’t been in months and we couldn’t be sure if it was better to go or not to go. It’s amazing how even the simplest tasks have become complicated in our new reality.

Top Goals Review:  

  • Work: sort of made a plan for the week but need to do better here, did not start slowly putting together packet but did take a few steps, talked to charlotte.
  • Personal: continued with daily peloton and running and climbed a bunch of times. did not really go back to eating the wild. have been drawing and journaling. doing so so on the sleeping earlier but continuing the noticing. did not pick any friends and doing so so on the art project.
  • Family: doing mediocre on supporting nathaniel and david and jake. cooked little. walked a tiny bit. did not hike together. climbed with jake.

I celebrate: making it through this week, this was a rough week.

I am grateful for: i’m taking fridays off for the summer and it’s become one of the few things that helps me stay sane.

This week, I exercised: i ran 3 times for 30 minutes, I did peloton daily between stretching, strength and running. i went climbing with Jake 3 times.

This week, I answered the Call of the Wildnothing this week. it’s been a quiet week.

I embraced Silence of the Wilderness: journaling daily still. Doing the artistic MBSR class from this book.

This week’s Wildcard was: a great conversation with a colleague on Friday

I said yes to: doing some art this week.

I said no to: i had to advocate for myself a lot this week.

Core Desired Feelings (leap, soft, release, join, delight) Check-in: I am being a bit too triggered lately so I am trying to soften into what’s going on and see if I can release some of it.

My mood this week was: down

I am proud of: the exercise still.

I release: how i am feeling. i want to put it all down and walk away from it

Here’s what I learned this week: i get to choose my perspective and i get to decide what matters. i forget this too often.

What I love right now: the quiet simplicity of my life.


Weekly Review 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Moments of 2020 – 27


Moments of 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Books I Read This Week 2020 – 27

Here are my goodreads reviews. If you’re on goodreads, add me as a friend so I can see your books too! I also have an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.


Exciting Times (2 stars): I know Sally Rooney endorsed this novel and it’s supposed to be similar but, for me, it was nothing like it at all. The main character in this story has an apathy throughout, an attitude that just stopped me from feeling anything for her at all so she came off as full of herself and navel gazing to me. Not a great fit for me.


The Motion of the Body Through Space (3.5 stars): I’ve had a mixed relationship with Lionel Shriver’s books. Her biting sense of humor usually comes off like she is condescending to me and I can’t connect wth her characters. But I was curious about this topic and I am younger than the couple in this book but my husband has recently gotten obsessed with rock climbing so I wanted to see if i would enjoy it. Each of the characters in this story is dislikeable in their own ways and yet I felt for them (most of them, never felt anything but disdain for Bambi) and found myself engaged the whole time.


The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season (3.5 stars): This book was exactly what i thought it was going to be. A sweet story of complex, broken individuals who come together and take care of each other. I’ve read many books like this and they are like a cozy blanket on a cool summer night. Don’t you love the cover? Doesn’t it make you want to curl up with this book? It delivers perfectly on that promise.


Parakeet (2 stars): This is another darkly comic book that I should not have picked up. The reviews are raving. You might love it. For me, it was too absurd and I just could not connect to the main character ever. I did love the sibling and the very best part of the book, for me, was the sibling relationship. There were too many other things I really disliked however and it just didn’t come together for me.


This is How I Lied (4 stars): I had never heard of this author or this book. When I saw it available in the library, I randomly checked it out. And I am so glad I did. This story of Eve’s death was gripping with plenty of interesting characters, a gripping pace, and a satisfying ending. I am not a fan of unreliable narrators or dislikeable main characters or twists for twist’s sake. This book has some of each of them but not enough to ruin it for me. I loved it.


500 Miles from You (3 stars): Even though I enjoyed this story, I never connected with it as much as I did with Bookshop on the Shore. I didn’t connect with either of the characters enough. I did love the small town and I loved several of the characters in the story. Just didn’t love this one.


And there we go, grateful to be reading.


Books I Read this Week 2020 is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here. I am also tracking my books in real time on Good Reads here. If you’re on Good Reads add me so I can follow you, too! I’ve also started an instagram account where I join my love of reading with my love of art.

Living Wild – 27

Weekly Intention: This week’s intention is to ease back into work and take it slow and steady. I am still finding myself more anxious than I would like so I want to be able to pace myself and take the time I need.

This month’s intention is: July: Run Wild: Settle into the summer. Enjoy the wild. Use the energy of the sunshine and the long days.  Step into it. Honor it. Bask in it. Let’s honor the days of the summer. They won’t last long so it’s best to bask in it while they are here.

One way I will show up this week:  slow and steady.

I will go into the wild:  no plans this week, maybe i can take a hike one night after work.

This week, I will pay attention to: what i am eating. and exploring some of the work anxiety.

One new thing I will begin this week: i’m thinking about my next 100 day project or some other project i might want to begin. ideally something involving art.

One magic I will create: maybe some fun dinner out in the backyard?

One thing I hope to release: still need to release all this anxiety that seems to be consuming me.

One thing I will join in on: more gym this week.

One area I will practice being open: i wrote this last week: “i want to be open to having more space in my workday and being ok with it.” i really need to think on this one more. i need this i think. i need to find a way to make it so.

I am looking forward to: i think i need to book another vacation so i can look forward to it.

This week’s challenges: being back at work will be challenging

Top Goals:

  • Work: make a plan for the week, start slowly putting together packet, talk to charlotte.
  • Personal: continue with daily peloton + running + climbing, go back to eating the wild. draw. journal. sleep earlier. continue 100 days of noticing. pick more friends to connect with. find an art project.
  • Family: support nathaniel and david and jake. cook. walk. hike together. climb with jake.

I will focus on my values (love, learn, peace, service, gratitude): love what is and learn to lean in and pay attention, peace with taking it slow and gratitude for baby steps.

This week, I want to remember: that i can find a way to let the anxiety go, i know i can.


Living Wild is a year-long project for 2019. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Weekly Reflection 2020 – 26

The Wildest Part of this Week was: The wildest part of this week was getting to go to the climbing gym again. Climbing with masks and being in a closed space with other people and touching ropes, belays, holds was scary. We tried to be as safe as possible.

Top Goals Review:  my goal this week was to do a lot of exercise. I did a hike, 3 climbing sessions, 3 running sessions, a strength class, a yoga class and two meditation classes. I feel good about it. I didn’t fix the eating just yet, but working on it. I didn’t draw much this week but i did paint. I journaled daily. I didn’t sleep early but not too late either. I did continue my 100 days of noticing. I haven’t picked more friends yet.

I celebrate: going climbing again.

I am grateful for: a week off. i really needed it.

This week, I exercised: i listed it all above. lots of exercise this week.

This week, I answered the Call of the Wildwent to Castle Rock with Jake and the kids, it was really wonderful to be in the wild. I need it more and can’t seem to decide to do it.

I embraced Silence of the Wilderness: journaling daily for now. Doing an artistic MBSR class from this book.

This week’s Wildcard was: i have never been a fan of the enneagram (or other tests TBH) but for some reason i took 6 tests this week just to see how consistent they would be, and of course, they disagreed with each other. But through the process, I think I actually found my number (4!) and it deeply resonated with me. So now I’ve been reading more and more about it.

I said yes to: going climbing. time together.

I said no to: i did absolutely no work this week. zero.

Core Desired Feelings (leap, soft, release, join, delight) Check-in: I leapt into going climbing with jake. i am trying to soften into my anxiety and sit with it where and when i can. i didn’t join much this week but that was okay. I was delighted by some time off.

My mood this week was: grateful (and sore).

I am proud of: how much i showed up and exercised this week.

I release: as the days ticked down this week, i realized how much anxiety i still have about going back to work, how tired and burned out i still feel. today i am planning on working through some of that in my journal.

Here’s what I learned this week: I really, really love having a backyard. i am so incredibly grateful for my tiny yard.

What I love right now: I love the last few hours of my vacation when i am still feeling calm and peaceful.


Weekly Review 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.

Moments of 2020 – 26


Moments of 2020 is a year-long project for 2020. You can read more about my projects for 2020 here.