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January | A Month in Review

I haven't really shared much about what's been going on in my life lately on the blog, but I thought I'd do a little recap of my month, broken down into categories.  I enjoyed putting this post together - I hope you all like it as well!

Books Read
2015 was the year I fell back in love with reading for fun.  I read a total of 45 books last year, and I definitely wanted to continue working on my "to read" list this year.  I found this reading challenge pin right at the end of December and spent an afternoon looking at our bookshelves and my "to read" list coming up with a list of 52 books I want to read in 2016, assigning each prompt a title.  It was so much fun to create my list, and I've been making great progress already.  In January, I finished the following books:

The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes (prompt: set in a different country) | 3/5 stars.  I've never read a book by Jojo Moyes before, but when I saw this audiobook was available from my library, I decided to give it a whirl.  It was enjoyable, but I started to lose interest towards the end.  There are two main storylines in the book and the "present day" storyline fell flat for me.

The Guest Room, by Chris Bohjalian (prompt: published in 2016) | 4/5 stars.  Chris Bohjalian is an author my mother-in-law turned me onto.  I really like his books (Water Witches is another great one), and when I saw he was coming out with a new book this past month, I added it to my queue at the library.  The Guest Room is a murder-mystery of sorts, and although it's dark and racy (it examines the sex slave trade industry), I really liked it.

Oogy, by Larry Levin (prompt: based on a true story) | 4/5 stars.  My coworkers and I are all mildly obsessed with dogs.  We all passed this book around the office - so heartwarming, and such a beautiful story.  A bonus?  I didn't cry when reading it, haha!

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (prompt: set in the future) | 4/5 stars.  I had heard great things about this book...and I really enjoyed it.  Such an interesting premise!  I listened to the audiobook version of this book and I really liked the narrator's voice.

A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving (prompt: became a movie) | 5/5 stars.  Simon Birch is one of my favorite movies, and when I realized it was based off a book, I knew I wanted to read it.  My dad has been recommending A Prayer for Owen Meany for years, and I finally got around to reading it.  I absolutely loved the book.  It's quite different from the movie, but it wasn't distracting at all to me.

Total pages read: 1,802

Days Exercised
Kevin and I bought a treadmill this past fall, and I am loving having it!  It's up in my office, and since it's easily accessible, I've been using it quite a bit!  I've been walking on it 4 days per week, and once I become very set in a consistent workout schedule, I'm planning on actually training for a 5K.

In January, I worked out 17 days.  I logged 598 active minutes (according to my Fitbit), and averaged 35 minutes per workout.

Clothing Bought
Gray tunic sweater - Target, $11
Tan tunic sweater - Target, $11 (same as above)
Gray baseball sweater - Target, $12
Gray sparkly sweater - Target, $12
Black tunic tee - Target, $8
Gray plaid wrap cardigan - Target, $20
Total spent: $74

I wasn't planning on spending anything on clothing this month, but I was not feeling ready to go back to work after winter break, so I decided to look for some cute winter clothes that I might want to wear to work.  Up until I bought these sweaters, I only had three pullover sweaters in my closet, and two of those were had 3/4-length sleeves...not ideal for MN winters!  I am so pleased with the items I bought, and have worn them all multiple times already.  I love that all of them work with jeans or leggings for weekends or with skinny ponte pants for work.

Outfits Worn
 Jacket + Top: Thrifted | Pants: Kohls | Shoes: TOMS

I wore this outfit to work the other day and was told I looked trendier than usual by one of our teachers, hahaha.

Sweater + Boots: Target | Jeans: Old Navy | Scarf: From my mom

This is a very typical weekend outfit for me: sweater, skinny jeans, scarf, and boots.  Predictable, yes, but oh-so-comfortable.

Onesie: Target

I bought this onesie at Target over Thanksgiving weekend.  Kevin's family had a huge Star Wars movie marathon and I wanted something cozy to I found this unicorn onesie for $15.  It has pockets and it's so soft!  Unfortunately, Pippin decided she liked this onesie better as a horse, and she chomped the horn right off.  Oh well, at least it was just the horn, ha!  I've been wearing my onesies (this one and I also have a Batman one) non-stop because they're so dang comfortable.  (I'm wearing this one right now as I type, actually...).

Things Accomplished
I've been dealing with crazier than normal anxiety lately, including two awful anxiety attacks in the car on my way home from work and one 3-minute meltdown in my office.  I reached out to some trusted people in my life for support and help, and one gave me some great referrals to therapists.  I still need to make an appointment but I'm really trying to work through this all and feeling like myself again.

Kevin and I have been having a blast establishing ourselves in our new community.  I've reconnected with some of my friends from high school and college, which has been awesome.  Kevin and I have also started to make some "couple friends" and going on double dates.  Some of our recent favorites have been bowling at this great retro bowling place in Minneapolis called Bryant Lake Bowl and doing trivia at Bent Brewstillery (and testing out their delicious craft beers and liquors).  It feels incredible to start putting our roots down here in the Twin Cities again.

I have also been "hobbying" so much more.  In addition to coloring, reading, and writing, I've been making lots of music lately.  I came home after an especially rough day at work and sat at my piano for a good hour or so.  I recorded this video of me playing and singing "The Song of Purple Summer" from Spring Awakening (my favorite musical).

There you have it, my friends - a little snapshot of what January 2016 was like for me!

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