August is my favorite month for many reasons. Here are a few things I’m up to right now:
What I’m Reading
I only seem to find time to read during the summer when I’m sitting by the pool or the ocean. So far I’ve finished an interesting biography of Jackie O; read the latest memoir from one of my faves- Jen Lancaster; and now I’m working on an interesting book about hosting meetings and events. The Art of Gathering goes through the various steps of planning a get together and preaches grounding every decision (invite list, venue, activities, etc.) to align with the true purpose of the gathering. So often we rely on convenience, defer to precedent, or focus on logistics when planning meetings and events when it should be about encouraging interaction and human connection to get the intended result. My favorite part so far is “don’t be a chill host.”
What I’m Watching
TV has been pretty good this summer. My TV life is basically Bravo, plus a couple other shows. I just finished the latest season of Younger. I enjoyed the latest season of Southern Charm a lot, and now I’m all in on Southern Charm Savannah. I’m keeping up with the some Housewives. The only Bravo show that didn’t do it for me this summer was Below Deck Med. I didn’t really like the cast at all. And I wasn’t going to watch it, but I just got sucked into Very Cavallari. I only really watch stupid TV. Sue me.
What I’m Wearing
I’m wearing anything that keeps me cool in this heat and humidity. At work that means lightweight, washable dresses. At the gym it’s breezy Adidas tanks, and on the trail, it’s my latest running sneaks. On the weekend, I’m loving the last couple things I’ve gotten from Lou & Grey. The fabric is like butta. I’ve totally lost interest in all the huge sales going on right now. I’m waiting for the new fall stuff!
How is August treating you so far?
I’m sure for everyone else this is a low bar, but four books in a summer is a really solid accomplishment for me. I’m very proud of myself. Here’s what I read by the pool every weekend. In case you don’t notice, I stick to non-fiction, because that’s how I roll.
1. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. I’ve had this book on my nightstand for over a year, and I finally committed to reading it. It was pretty interesting. It was a little slow going at the beginning because he describes a lot of biological dynamics that relate to human feelings. It got a little clinical, but it got better. My main takeaway was that trust is essential for successful leadership.
2. Superficial by Andy Cohen. I’m a big Bravo fan (he’s an executive at Bravo). I watch almost all of the shows, so this book caught my eye. It’s his daily diary, and primarily documents his work and crazy busy social life. He rolls with celebrities around the clock, so it’s interesting to get a “behind the scenes” perspective. There’s some self reflection but it’s definitely not the most profound look I’ve ever read. It was perfect for the beach because it’s full of great gossip!
3. I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster. I needed a back up book for vacation and I looked up Jen Lancaster because I’ve read several of her books in the past. She writes really hilarious memoirs about her life. This is her latest, and it’s great, just like the rest of them. She addresses a little mid-life crisis by creating a bucket list and working through the items one by one. It’s funny and subconsciously inspirational as you go through her journey of stepping outside of her comfort zone.
4. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I knew I needed one more book to get through my weekend mornings by the pool and I read an article about the author of Glass Castle from the promotional tour for the movie. The story sounded unique so I thought I would give it a shot. It was a quick read, which is saying a lot because I’m a very slow reader. The story was pretty interesting but, at the same time, none of the characters are very likable. It was an interesting view of a family that is the polar opposite of my own family or really anyone I know.
What books have you read lately?
Thanks to Sadie’s inspirational blog entry, I decided that I needed to read Jen Lancaster’s The Tao of Martha. Since I began reading this memoir, I have cleaned out and reorganized my wardrobe closet, laundry room, and utility closet. I have come up with some clever ideas for organizing along the way (these ideas will be posted at a later date). Jen and Martha have also motivated me to use my creativity to decorate for Halloween. I made a trip to Michael’s to pick up a few supplies…of course I checked out the Martha Stewart section because you really don’t need much else! I only purchased a bottle of glue, glitter, and some fun scrapbooking labels. This is what I came up with. Of course, I also made a pit stop to TJ Maxx for the haunted house candles and owl candle holders.
My mantle is now decorated and it only cost about $40. The only thing I already had was the fall leave garland that you see in the back and the ceramic pumpkin bag in the center. I found all of the glass bottles and jars around the house. You can use empty wine bottles, beer bottles, perfume bottles, vinegar and oil bottles…anything that you think looks good. I simply either glued or taped the scrapbook labels depending on whether I wanted to permanently use the bottle for decoration for years to come. If the bottle was empty, I used colored soap or spices I had around the house to fill the jars. I have one more craft project to make the mantle complete. Don’t worry I’ll let you have a look at that one too. In the meantime, get inspired!