Find out more about your favorite book blogger. See what’s new with Rachael – what she’s been doing, reading, and loving this month.
What a month it has been!
I took this picture of my front room at the beginning of the month. I was excited to talk about some new changes that have inserted a measure of calmness into my life.
Plot Twist: COVID-19.
Everything I had carefully planned went out the window. Now I’ve settled into a new routine, but I have to admit, this roller coaster of a month has taken a toll on my mental health.
Luckily, it has been great for my reading, so I’ll have plenty of books to share with you as I get back into blogging.
If you are interested, here’s a peek at what I’ve learned, what I’ve loved and what I’ve read this month.
<< February 2020 April 2020 >>
What’s New With Rachael
I started my kids in daycare. At the beginning of the month, I decided it was worth the investment to put my younger two kids in daycare for two days a week. For two whole days, I got to work uninterrupted on my blog. All while my house stayed impeccably clean – or at least as clean as it gets. I knew that they were being watched over and taken care of, and I could completely focus on growing my blog.
After my brief taste of child-free workdays, I’ve now switched to homeschooling my kids. Officially, they are off until May 1st, but I won’t be surprised if the whole school year is canceled.
Luckily for me, my mom came to the rescue. Last fall, she moved just down the street from me. She’s been kind enough to watch my kids in the afternoon so I can do some blogging.
We’ve finally settled into a routine, but having all four kids home (and my husband home parttime) has forced me to check some of my ambitious plans. Maybe in the fall…
I took an SEO course. You can’t be the best if you don’t keep learning. Or at least that’s what I tell myself.
One of my 2020 blogging goals was to master Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so I jumped on a mid-March sale for the Make Traffic Happen SEO Made Easy course.
It took me two evenings to make my way through the e-book only to find I already knew most of what they were teaching. That seems to be what happens with most blogging courses I buy.
However, I was convinced that it was time for me to buy Keysearch, a keyword research tool.
I created checklists galore. I’m sure you are shocked to hear that I like lists. I have to keep little notepads all around my house because I’m constantly scribbling down my thoughts.
To better organize and streamline my work life, this month I created a bunch of checklists: monthly tasks, blog posts, Pinterest strategy, Advance Review Copies, blog finances.
I’ve already noticed the difference in how well they are helping me remember the little details.
March Reading List
Books Read in March
In March, I read 17 books and DNF’d 1 book (because my audiobook hold ran out). Books noted with a * were copies I received from publishers. For full reviews, visit my March Reading List and April 2020 Book Releases posts.
*Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth ★★
*The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate ★★★
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries ★★
*The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren ★★★
The Holdout by Graham Moore ★★★★
*Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel ★★★
Find Your Path by Carrie Underwood ★★★★
The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe ★★★
*Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis ★★★★
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman ★★★★
Save Me The Plums by Ruth Reichl DNF
Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles ★★★
Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk ★★★
*Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol ★★★★
*The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda ★★★★
The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver ★★★★
*What You Wish For by Katherine Center ★★★★
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo ★★★★
I’m constantly adding books to my to-read list on Goodreads. Besides all the upcoming releases I’m dying to read, here are March’s additions to my TBR:
Do Less by Kate Northup
Draft No. 4 by John McPhee
Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD by Susan C. Pinsky
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
Gettysburg by Newt Gingrich
The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
Stuff I’m Loving
Fit52 Workouts. I purchased a copy of Carrie Underwood’s new fitness book, Find Your Path, earlier this month. Since then, I’ve been inspired to up my fitness game. With my gym closed, I’ve been doing her Fit52 workouts at home and am loving the results. She also has a new workout app, but it’s not available on Android yet. Book | Website
MyFitnessPal App. While exercise is great, life changes come from eating healthier. Besides workouts, Carrie Underwood’s new book also focuses on nutrition. I haven’t tried her recipes yet, but I did download her recommended calorie tracker, MyFitnessPal by UnderArmour. I love how easily the food diary is to use and that I can see my nutrient breakdown for each day. Website
Azul. Considered one of the best new games of 2018, Azul is a fun tile-game. A 2 to 4 player game, Azul has you collect tiles to make a Portuguese mosaic. With easy to understand rules and gorgeously crafted pieces, Azul is a great choice for a family game. Amazon
Tortuga 1667. Combining strategy and social deduction, Tortuga 1667 has you become a pirate trying to collect treasure. Every player is secretly assigned an allegiance (British, French or Dutch) and you try to collect as much treasure for your country. Amazon
Movies & TV
Instant Family. Mark Wahlberg stars in this heartwarming movie about a couple that decides to adopt three siblings from foster care. Trailer | Amazon
Parks & Recreation. The amusing antics of Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in a small Indiana town, makes this sitcom a perfect show to watch during my at-home workouts. Just so you know, the first season is terrible, so feel free to skip it. Trailer | Amazon
What’s New on Booklist Queen
- What’s New: Highlights & Favorites from February
- Overrated Bestsellers: Read This Not That 2020 Edition
- A Guide to New York City For Book Lovers
- The Best Books of Spring 2020
- How to Declutter Books: 3 Ways to Free Up Shelf Space
- Reading Lately: Quick Lit Reviews from March 2020
- The Most Anticipated April 2020 Book Releases
- Book of the Month April 2020 Selections: Which Will You Choose?
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What’s new with you this month?
I was surprised to see that you added The Professor and The Mad Man by John Winchester to your TBR list. I will be interested to hear what you think of it.
Yes, Mike Rowe recommended it in his book, so I thought I’d give it a try … eventually.
Rachel @ Never Enough Novels says
We played Azul with our friends last year and loved it! I’m trying to convince my husband to buy our own copy haha. Also, had no idea Carrie Underwood has a book? I’ll have to check it out!
My family is very much a board-game family, so my siblings are always introducing me to interesting games. I’ve seen your board game tournament, so you would fit right in at our family gatherings.