Find out more about your favorite book blogger. See what’s new with Rachael – what she’s been doing, reading, and loving this month.
In my weekly newsletter, I always ask new subscribers how I can best help them.
To my relief, most reply that they want book lists and book recommendations. Else, I would be in big trouble since that’s mostly what I offer.
However, I’m always surprised at the second most frequent request. They want behind-the-scenes looks at the blog.
Like my life is interesting or something.
In an effort to be a little more down-to-earth and relatable, I decided to start a new monthly update feature. With highlights from my month, hopefully you’ll get a better sense of who I am.
Maybe we can even be friends.
What’s New With Rachael
I started going to a weekly yoga class. I’ve gone to yoga classes occasionally before, but this is the first time I’m settling into a routine. I found an instructor at my local gym that I love, and I even finally bought myself a yoga mat. Even better, a friend of mine takes the same class, so I’ve gotten to reconnect with her.
I celebrated my success. One of my biggest blog goals over the last year was to hit 100K pageviews in a single month. In January thanks to a few viral posts, I smashed that record with 167K page views. I knew I needed to celebrate my success before moving on to my next big goal.
Since we never eat out, we decided to take the kids to dinner at Texas Roadhouse (gift cards and coupons being the deciding factor.) The steak was heavenly and the rolls were delicious, but I was reminded why we never take four kids out for dinner. The night was more stressful than celebratory. Next time, we might just celebrate by going out for dessert.
I had fun with fitness. I love to embrace my inner athleticism. This month, I attended my second ski lesson as part of Snowbasin’s Earn & Learn program. Then for President’s Day, I skied with my husband and survived my first black diamond course. On Valentine’s Day, my husband took me rock climbing, and I progressed into 5.10 routes for the first time. With the nicer weather, I took my first two bike rides of the season. I even convinced my little brother to be a substitute for my team at my last indoor soccer game.
I got organized. Inspired by Marie Kondo’s upcoming book Joy at Work, I did a major cleanout and reorganization of my desk, organized by blog finances for tax season, and cleared out the inboxes for all my email accounts. Taking the advice in Mike Michalowicz’s Profit First, I redid my blog finances to ensure that I run a profitable blog in 2020.
February Reading List
Books Read in February
In February, I read 15 books and DNF’d two books. Books noted with a * were Advance Review Copies I received from publishers. For full reviews, visit my February Reading List and March 2020 Book Releases posts.
*Project 333 by Courtney Carver ★★★
*The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton ★★★★
*Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel ★★
*Get Out of Your Own Way by Dave Hollis ★★★
*The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel ★★★
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★
*Apeirogon by Colum McCann DNF
Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker ★★★
When Less Becomes More by Emily Ley ★★★
Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado DNF
Profit First by Mike Michalowicz ★★★★★
*The Night Swim by Megan Goldin ★★★★
*Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon ★★★★★
Slave Stealers by Timothy Ballard ★★
*The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian ★★★
Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson ★★★
#IMomSoHard by Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley ★★★
I’m constantly adding books to my to-read list on Goodreads. Besides all the upcoming releases I’m dying to read, here are February’s additions to my TBR:
Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
7 by Jen Hatmaker
For the Love by Jen Hatmaker
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Escape Room by Megan Goldin
I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs
Stuff I’m Loving
Power Crunch Protein Bars. This is the best protein bar I’ve ever had, and I have tried my fair share of protein bars. It has a wafer texture, so you feel like you are eating a snack rather than a protein bar. Amazon | Website
Gaiam Yoga Mat. I’ve been wanting a yoga mat for a while, and I finally decided it was the right time to buy one. I read no reviews; I just fell in love with the black and gold design of the Gaiam yoga mat I saw at Target. Target | Website
Chocolate & Steel Quote Ring. In January, I spent a weekend in New York City with my sister. At the New York Public Library’s gift shop, I found the perfect quote ring by Chocolate And Steel. Its twist pattern adjusts perfectly to my tiny little fingers, and it’s stamped with a quote by novelist George Eliot.
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
I’ve worn it almost every day since I bought it. It reminds me that it’s never too late to start. What I was doesn’t have to define me. I can start now to become who I want to be.
They also have cute quote necklaces, mantra earrings, and inspirational bracelets. Website
Amy Porterfield | Online Marketing Expert. I’m all about female entrepreneur podcasts right now. After hearing Amy Porterfield as a guest on a few of the podcasts, I decided to give her podcast a try. I will say, I love her honey-smooth voice. Better still, her online marketing tips are spot-on, giving me tons to think about with each episode.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Besides my own reading challenge, I’m also participating in the Uncorked Reading Challenge. I was supposed to read a book set in Iceland but didn’t quite make it. Instead, I’ll have to settle for a rewatch of Ben Stiller’s movie, whose cinematography and directing blew me away. The gorgeous scenery of Iceland and Afghanistan didn’t hurt either.
What’s New on Booklist Queen
- 22 Must-Read Books by Contemporary Black Female Authors
- 19 Business Books for Bloggers to Read in 2020
- Reading Lately: February 2020
- March 2020 Book Releases
- Book of the Month: March 2020 Selections
- Update About Me and Work with Me pages
Favorite Instagram Photo
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#partner Guys, I’m in ARC heaven! Here are the March and April books I’ve received from publishers. I have to say, March is looking like an amazing month for book releases. My list of upcoming releases to watch is bursting at the seams right now What 2020 book releases are you most looking forward to? Special thanks to all the publishers who have been so kind to send me ARCs!
What’s new with you this month?
Rachel @ Never Enough Novels says
All that physical activity sounds exhausting! It’s so neat you rock climb – that’s something I’ve always wanted to try. My husband always picks Texas Roadhouse as his restaurant of choice when we’re celebrating. I typically eat 3-5 rolls. That cinnamon butter is delicious!
Looking forward to these monthly updates!
Haha. I love doing sports, though the not-so-competitive variety. It’s the training that I hate, especially running. But it’s hard to play soccer if you can’t run or climb if you have no upper body strength, so I force myself onto a treadmill and into the weight room.
Also, I think I need to find a recipe for that cinnamon butter.
CJ | A Well-Read Tart says
Sounds like it was a great month! I love that you shared what’s going on in your life besides books. 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you celebrated smashing your goal — so many times, it’s easy to put off celebration of a achieving a goal because we’re already looking toward the next one; it’s important to stop and acknowledge the moments of achievement when they happen. Congrats on surpassing the goal!!! I’m not surprised, because you’re an amazing blogger and Pinterest guru. 😀