Hey, quarantine friends! What a month it has been! Staying home and staying productive have proven to be very different animals, but I must say that the challenge has been a bit refreshing for me. Quarantine has allowed me to learn how to maximize my time, improve my health, and invest hours in my blog! I’ve been reading, watching movies, and exercising more than ever, so I am delighted to share my May favorites with you today!
Literature May Favorites
Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller
There’s a reason this book is a New York Times Bestseller! Building a Story Brand is jam-packed with sage advice when it comes to the world of marketing. Through teaching the essential pillars of story-telling, Miller guides the reader to tell an engaging story with their brand. This book is captivating and easy to read, challenging, and inspires the reader to improve their brand message.
The Essential Habits of 6-Figure Bloggers by Sally Miller
I enjoyed this book as an easy read to start my mornings before my blogging workday. It was not very deep but introduced me to several top bloggers with whom I was not familiar. Miller’s writing structure in this piece consists of ten essential questions she asks 17 different 6-figure bloggers. The same questions are asked in every chapter, so the material can be a bit repetitive. But I appreciated that each blogger recommended their favorite business book and an essential habit that changed their business. I recommend this book for anyone looking for some light blogging inspiration!
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
A Separate Peace is a reread for me, but every bit worthy of a second helping. I fell in love with the astounding prose and excellently crafted plot in this coming-of-age, World War II story about friendship, betrayal, and loss. My mother and I are reading it together this time, and we have a book club each week by phone. We quickly spend an hour discussing the central themes and sharing our favorite lines. It’s genuinely one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking books I’ve ever read.
Dead to Me, Season 2 – Netflix
I have been waiting for this season to drop for the better part of the year, and it was better than I could have ever expected! Dead to Me is a dark comedy dealing with themes of loss and friendship. Of course, there are secrets, betrayals, and twists. But the draw of the show for me is the comedic chemistry of Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini. Both actresses absolutely out-do themselves in their respective roles, and the supporting cast is just as talented. I binged the second season in less than 24 hours!
Hollywood, Season 1 – Netflix
Hollywood popped up as a new release on my homepage, and I watched it more out of boredom than actual interest. I was immediately put off by the watered-down representation of Golden Age Hollywood, an era near and dear to my heart. However, the ensemble cast and the overt themes of race and sexuality kept me engaged, as well as a cameo by the flawless Queen Latifah. It’s honestly Patti LuPone who stole the show for me and without whom Hollywood would have fallen flat. It’s an upbeat show with fun, era-specific costumes that simultaneously exposes the dark underbelly of Los Angeles in the 1950s.
My May Favorite Movies
Some Like It Hot
I love a good Old Hollywood classic, and Some Like It Hot is a new favorite. Marylin Monroe is equal parts charming, innocent, and hilarious. It’s no surprise that her performance in this film was heavily praised by critics. The movie is surprisingly modern in tone as Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis spend more than half of its run time in full drag. (They are on the run from the mafia after witnessing a crime.) The comedic timing is excellent, the songs are fun, and the leads are endearing. It also boasts one of the best final lines in movie history!
Thelma & Louise
Award-winning Thelma & Louise was released in the early 90s and was criticized for portraying men in a negative light. That should be enough to tell you that this is a quality film! One of the first movies to feature two strong female leads, Thelma & Louise is an American road-trip story about two friends on the run from the law. While the ending leaves something to be desired, the themes of female friendship and fighting the patriarchy are qualities that make this movie special.
My May Favorite Albums
Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King
I am absolutely in love with this album. I’ve been realizing lately how much love the blues and Albert King does it excellently. With a voice as smooth as butter and bluesy riffs that will cause your heart to ache, it’s a joy from start to finish.
Destroyer – KISS
I had so much fun listening to this album! I almost skipped it because I thought it was going to be super-hardcore, and I wasn’t in the mood. I’m so glad I didn’t! This album was a great time with upbeat jams that were easy to rock out to. It was engaging and fun throughout. I know I’m probably late to the party on this one, but it’s definitely a new fave!
Damaged Vol. 2 – bülow
This EP only boasts three songs, but all three are excellent and jam-worthy! You and Jennifer is an alt-pop singer bülow’s top track on Spotify and is the third song on this album. I really enjoy bülow’s angsty-but-smooth vibe. Her mixing is always creative but on brand. It was hard for me to choose just one of her albums for the list, as they are all bangers!
BodyBoss Ultimate Guide
I’m a huge fan of HIIT training in general. It is excellent for helping women burn fat and keeping their metabolisms in high gear all day. I’ve had this program for years, but I began taking it seriously again several weeks ago, and I love it more than ever.
The workouts are straightforward but challenging. They move quickly while not being too short.
BodyBoss provides several program formats from hardcopy books to online videos, which is a great way to make it personal for you. I prefer the online guide in e-book version myself.
What I love about BodyBoss is that it makes you feel stronger faster. By the second and third weeks, you can already feel positive changes happening in your body. While the program is doable, it never gives your body the opportunity to plateau because its always upping the ante.
Finally, I like that BodyBoss only has two serious HIIT workouts weekly, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesday and Thursday are free choice exercise days, and Friday is for a mini-workout called a power-up.
BodyBoss truly allows you to find your rhythm while pushing you to your limits.
I’m looking forward to trying out the 12 Week Tone program after completing the Ultimate Guide. Only six weeks to go!
While quarantine has not been easy for anyone, my skin is celebrating a whole month without makeup! This time at home has been a wonderful time for my skin to heal itself, mostly thanks to natural medicine treatments!
In addition to my treatments, I’ve been enjoying this Glow Tonic by Pixi! It’s packed with glycolic acid and provides a lot of hydration without being heavy on the skin. Using this toner twice a day has upped the glow factor while reducing redness. Again, I love the lightness of the toner and how hydrating it feels. I have tried many toners that left my skin feeling dry and thirsty, but the Glow Tonic leaves it feeling refreshed and clean.
The award-winning Glow Tonic by Pixi is alcohol-free and never tested on animals.
Get it HERE.
That’s a Wrap!
Be sure to connect with me on social media and let me know about your May favorites! I always love a good recommendation!