Happy April Fools’ Day! No pranks from me today. (I’m so not creative enough to prank people!) Instead, I’m bring you a review of March!
I didn’t keep track of March very well. In January and February, I spent dedicated time each night to write about my day and even write a gratitude note for each day, but I fell off the wagon in March. In doing so, I felt a little out of control and lazy this month. I didn’t achieve the goals I set for myself and I am feeling very lackluster about the way I approached life last month. That said, I find myself greeting April with renewed vigor and this excitement to get back on track and focused. My theme for this year is deliberate action, and not every month is going to go the way I planned. I can only move forward with what I have learned and keep pressing on.
March in Moments
The biggest moment of March was my four-day cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. I went with my best friend, my mom, and my stepdad and had such a lovely time. It was truly the getaway I needed. Bri and I snorkeled in the beautiful Caribbean Sea – an experience I’ll treasure for a very long time.
I had a tiny bit of romance in March, which was unexpected but really encouraging after a string of really bad or boring first dates. While nothing came of the romance, it taught me a lot about what I want from a relationship, what I will and won’t accept. It got me excited about dating again, at a time when I was feeling very disillusioned and tired of the game.
Some other good moments: lady date nights with my roommate, shuffleboard with my book club girls, getting back to my weekly writing dates with my writing partner, quality Mom time (something I need just about weekly to feel centered), Dutch’s 14th birthday, and celebrating International Women’s Day with tapas and sangrias with coworkers-turned-friends. I have a really good life, a life I never pictured myself having, which is something I need to remind myself of when my anxiety gets the best of me.
March in Pictures
Clockwise from left: (1) cruise ship (2) about to go snorkeling in cozumel (3) sunset on my last day of the cruise (4) a special weekend visitor (5) starting a well-loved book (6) dutchy (7) sleepy dutchy (8) shuffleboard winners (9) froyo date with mom
March in Books
I read 7 books in March, which puts me at 21 books read this year. It seems as if I’m on a 7 books per month pattern so far. My favorite read was probably Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets! I am so enjoying re-reading this wonderful series. Here are my reviews:
- That Thing Called Love by Susan Andersen (2 stars) – This book was, well, a bit painful to read. I just didn’t find the characters very believable, the romance was meh, and I think the book itself could have used a couple more rounds of editing.
- Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger (4 stars) – I read this for book club, and it was a book I suggested so I was very happy that everyone loved the novel. We read a Lisa Unger novel last year and it was so darn good, so I was excited for another one. This book was super creepy and a bit dark, but I could not put it down for anything. Really want to read more from this author!
- Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl (3 stars) – Sweet contemporary romance novel that I enjoyed. Nothing in particular stands out, just a quick, easy read.
- The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich (2 stars) – I read this for TLC Book Tours. A romance novel that seemed pretty light on the actual romance. Not my favorite of hers. A full review of this book is found here.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (5 stars) – I really, really love the first two novels of Harry Potter. Everything is still a bit innocent and fun! I enjoyed this novel and tore my way through it during a weekend where I was sad. Perfect pick-me-up selection!
- Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari (4 stars) – I really liked this book! It could get dry at times as books based heavily on research tend to be, but Aziz’s writing style more than made up for that. I liked getting some insight into the dating world, especially dating nowadays that is so technology-based.
- Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis (5 stars) – Such a fun romance novel and the last in a three-book series. I read this series back in 2010, and it was really fun to reread. This was probably my favorite of the three and I was immediately hooked on TJ and Harley.
March in Movies
I watched two movies this month; my reviews are below:
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – I wanted to see this because I love Tina Fey and everything she does, and I was also interested in the story. It was a really, really good movie! Heavy at times, but intermixed with some light-hearted moments. My favorite line: “Embrace the suck… then move the fuck on.”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – I feel like I may have watched this movie before (Moaning Myrtle felt really familiar to me!). It was just so darn good. This series is such a comfort to me, and I have a sneaking suspicion the movies will soon be my go-to pick when I need my spirits lifted.
March in Podcasts
I didn’t end up adding any new shows to my feed in March, which is good because my podcast queue is out of control as it is! But here’s what I found fascinating or enjoyable from my regular podcasts this month:
- How the Iditarod Works by Stuff You Should Know – I’ve always had a fascination with the Iditarod, and this episode was especially good!
- Extroverted Highly Sensitive Man: An Interview with Johnny Martinez by The Highly Sensitive Person Podcast – I love that Kelly is doing longer interview shows on her podcast now, and I really enjoyed the perspective of being an extrovert with the HSP trait. Interesting stuff!
- Jolly Jane and Either/Or by Criminal – Two incredibly intriguing stories that had me saying “OMG!” more than once while listening.
- Life in Cambodia with Marla Taviano by The Simple Show – I have no desire to live in another country, but I love hearing about those who do! I was really inspired by Marla and her family.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda on Another Round – Because Hamilton, amirite?
Looking Forward to April
I have some fun things to look forward to this month. My writing partner and I are having a “writing sleepover” where we plan to make some serious progress on our novels. I’m participating in Paint Your Heart Out Tampa this year with a bunch of coworkers and friends. And I’ll be heading back to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a day with a group of friends, which will probably be AMAZING.
This month, I want to focus a lot on writing my novel. I’m challenging myself to write 1,000 words per day for the next three months.
I also want to get serious about eating better and exercising more. I completely fell off the wagon in March and I feel a bit yucky about it. I need to be better at taking care of myself!
Lastly, I’d really love to find a home church to belong to, so I’d like to start that process in April. I’m out of the habit of going to church and the thought of walking into an unknown environment full of strangers is terrifying to me, but I also know that I need to be back in church and I need a church family.
What were some highlights for you in March?