Lately I’ve had more time to actually read books that aren’t for college classes. I’ve loved reading for so long and university sometimes makes it hard to feel motivated to read for fun when there’s so many required texts. But, with this quarantine, I’ve started getting out of my reading slump.
The Diviners by Libba Bray
I’m not currently finished with this book as I write about it, but I’ve been really enjoying it so I decided to include it in my list. Some of my sorority sisters and I started a book club this month and we chose The Divners as our book for April. It’s one that has been on my TBR for so long now that I can’t even remember when I first heard about it. I’m not even halfway through it currently but I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. The murder mystery aspect is something I don’t often read but the book also has fantasy elements that have kept me hooked in to the story.
Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I decided to combine the books from this series that I have read into one section. This month I read Son of Neptune and Mark of Athena and I am currently reading House of Hades. I read The Lost Hero a few months ago, so I won’t really go to far into that book specifically this time. One of the things I often do to get out of a reading slump is to re-read favorite books. And Percy Jackson in general is one of those series. Because I read Lost Hero relatively recently, I could still remember most of what happened. So I went ahead and started with Son of Neptune. It took a couple of weeks to finish Son of Neptune but it helped me with getting back to reading a little bit. Mark of Athena took less time to finish. Honestly Mark of Athena is one of my favorite Heroes of Olympus books and the next book, House of Hades, is my favorite so the excitement of those two books might have helped me read faster. I’m not going to go too far into these books since there are spoilers for those who have never read Percy Jackson books (although you totally should, no matter how old you are). But this is my third time reading these books and I still enjoy them just as much as the first time.
Young Living Essential Oils
This is something that I haven’t talked about on my blog before and I hope to make more blog posts regarding essential oils. But, for the last few years I’ve incorporated essential oils into my daily lifestyle. Now, I will go ahead and say that essential oils are NOT a cure-all. Essential oils help support the body in different ways. I use essential oils alongside western medicine. For example: I use essential oils to help ease digestive discomfort BUT if I get strep then I will go and get antibiotics from my healthcare provider. 🙂
If you are ever interested in joining Young Living, message me and I will give you information on joining and what the membership entails – including all of your options depending on your budget and lifestyle.
DiGize is a blend that Young Living created to help support the digestive system. It’s a blend of tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli. The aroma is spicy and most people don’t particularly enjoy it (I personally love the aroma). I have a roller ball fitment on my 15ml bottle of DiGize because of how often I use it.
Lately, I’ve been having some stomach discomfort (probably from stress tbh) and when I need it, I rub the DiGize on my abdomen a couple of times to help ease the discomfort.
This is one of my favorite oil blends. It contains clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary. It’s aroma is very reminiscent of fall and christmas time. This blend in particular even has some pretty cool history to it.
Back during the time of the Black Plague in France, four thieves (origin of the blend’s name – Thieves) were captured because they were stealing from the sick and dying people. They miraculously never caught the disease despite their close contact with those who were dying or already dead. Their sentence was originally being burned alive (cruel I know, but this was the 15th century). However, they were given a choice: if they gave up their secret to how they didn’t get sick, they would receive a lighter sentence. So, naturally, they told the judge what herbs and spices they used. And thus, plague doctors in the 15th century would apply those herbs and spices on their face and in those bird-like masks while they treated people.
This blend, as you might be able to guess, helps support the immune system. It’s even been university tested and was found “highly effective in supporting the immune system and good health” (credit: Young Living).
Personally, I diffuse it when I feel like I need a little extra boost to supporting my immune system. It also makes my room smell amazingly like fall and I love that.
This is an oil that I don’t often see within the Young Living community. However, I absolutely love this oil. The aroma is refreshing and empowering. It reminds me of when my family and I would go camping in Bastrop State Park aka Lost Pines in Bastrop, Texas.
When it’s diffused, it can create a calming environment. Pine oil helps with respiratory and emotional support. It can also be used to help soothe stressed muscles and joints, especially when used during a massage. Even though it’s spring, I love autumn-inspired aromas so I’ve been diffusing some fall blends that include pine.
Fun fact: pine was first investigated by Hippocrates, who was an Ancient Greek physician during the Age of Pericles and is now known as the father of Western medicine.
Breathe Again roll-on
I’ve been using this roller blend so much lately because it helps bring seasonal relief. Breathe Again is a blend of Eucalyptus staigeriana, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus bicostata (aka Eucalyptus Blue), peppermint, myrtle, copaiba, rose hip, blue cypress, and bay laurel (note: some of these aren’t available as individual oils).
This blend was created to support the respiratory system and help you breathe easier – hence the name. It’s already diluted prior to purchase, which means it’s gentle on the skin. It’s aroma is refreshing and invigorating. I roll it on my chest and neck to help ease seasonal discomfort.
Food & Drink
Keurig – Coffee
Like a lot of college/university students, I thrive on coffee. The caffeine wakes me up and helps me focus when I am doing homework. I have a Keurig mini and I’ve been using it a lot lately.
My favorite coffee right now is probably the Starbucks Veranda Blonde roast (not sponsored lol) with vanilla almond creamer. I’m lactose sensitive so I use non-dairy creamers in my coffee.
TV & Movies
The Vampire Diaries
Quarantine has created so much free time. And one of the best ways to fill time is Netflix. So I binged the first 5 seasons of The Vampire Diaries (I still need to watch seasons 6-8 so please no spoilers!). It’s a show that I’ve seen before, apart from season 6 and beyond. I know that it’s kind of a ridiculous show about vampires and other supernatural creatures. But it’s entertaining and there’s a lot of episodes so it helps pass the time.
I rented this movie on Amazon because I realized that I had never seen it, even though I had wanted to for years. It’s a fascinating movie that’s based on true events. James Franco’s acting was absolutely phenomenal. A majority of the movie was James speaking to the camera itself. Acting for a majority of a feature film without many supporting actors is tough and James did it flawlessly. The frustration and desperation felt so real with the combination of James’ acting, the sound design, and the cinematography. It is an intense story (it is rated R), but I definitely recommend watching it.
You’ve probably heard of this app/website. It’s one of the most popular language learning apps/websites out there. It’s completely free to use (best part in my opinion). AND the company is constanly learning from users how to best optimize the learning experience. I’m currently focusing on German (while also doing some practice in Italian) because I will be taking intermediate German this fall semester and I would like to have my memory refreshed by the time the class starts.
Duolingo has so many languages to choose from and they are constantly adding more. There is a desktop version of it and I find that it’s good to use both desktop and mobile.
This is an app that’s essentially writing letters without the cost of letters and stamps. You can find a pen pal from anywhere in the world and you learn a little bit about them and what you have in common with them before you even write them. That way you know what to talk about with them to hopefully encourage them to reply. The “letters” aren’t instant like real letters and take time to be received on your device. It’s not as slow as real mail but it can take anywhere from an hour to a couple of days depending on where the pen pal is located. It’s a fun way to make friends all around the world (all without having to worry about postage or losing it in the postal system).
Those were some of the things that I’ve been loving this month. I hope to do this every month (ideally with a different list each month lol).