CURRENTLY // AUGUST 2020

Reading // All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda, Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, Normal People by Sally Rooney, The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn, Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Planning // October weekend getaway to Traverse City, Michigan, browsing homes for sale in Toledo, Cleveland, and Ann Arbor areas, for a successful September whole30

Watching // Cleveland Indians baseball, too much Tik Tok let’s be honest

Eating // southern butter pecan ice cream, pork chops with granny smith apples and caramelized onion, tomato chorizo frittata, lots and lots of BLT salads – Kyle’s new obsession is BLTs now that he has a cast iron bacon press, deli sandwiches from Garden Harvest

Cooking // Healthy Little Peach’s chicken bacon ranch stuffed sweet potato, Half Baked Harvest’s instant pot crispy carnitas with chipotle peach salsa (salsa 10/10, to die for, would make again), Half Baked Harvest’s herby tomato soup

Drinking // Biggby’s 24 ounce black iced coffee (no joke, 5 times a week at minimum), Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Wheat, Rhinegeist Slangria

Pinning // fall dessert recipes, recipes with cherry tomatoes, travel guides and blog posts in up state New York, reading challenges

Crafting // brewery stickers into temporary magnets for our wet bar mini fridge, planner spreads, blog post reflecting on my One Little Word document

Going // day drinking at a coworkers with yard games (including relay pong on our closet door, Kyle was so happy to be reliving his college days), neighborhood walks and runs, Biggby per always

Loving // Goodreads, Toledo library pick up, the park that surrounds my local library, weekly COVID tests for peace of mind

Dreaming // of international travel

Feeling // sad but understanding in the decision made by the BIG10 to cancel their college football 2020 season, hopeful for professional football 2020 season, excited at even just the thought of browsing for homes, disappointed in having to give up the prospects of a fall road trip to up state New York, proud of my on going dedication to daily exercise and weight loss journey

Listening // Podcasts: new to me this month was You’re Wrong About and I really enjoyed episodes about Going Postal and Stockholm Syndrome, also loved the conversation Michelle Obama had with her friend Michele Norris which gave us this advice, “don’t reach for normal, reach for better

Listening // Spotify Playlists:

Celebrating // 1k profit in stocks, brother and sister-in-law bought their first home in their dream neighborhood, new lowest weight on 161.6 lbs, yet another custom wheelchair approved and delivered to a long term care resident

Supporting // UPSP, Black Lives Matter

Buying // anniversary gift for M and T from Giften Market, new thriller The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard, wire plant stand from Crate and Barrel, purple and grey face masks for a September wedding

Current Events // via wikipedia
[1] Chinese IT company ByteDance agrees to divest from US branch of TikTok
[7] two people die of bubonic plaque in the region of Inner Mongolia, China
[8] MAC announces cancellation of fall football season
[11] former Vice President Joe Biden selects Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, she is the first black woman and first Asian-American vice presidential nominee
[11] Big Ten announces cancellation of fall football season
[18] California Governor declares a state of emergency as 27 wildfires as raging across the state, exacerbating a stifling heat wave
[24] Ohio representative John Becker draws up 10 articles of impeachment on Governor Mike DeWine over his COVID-19 orders
[26] all 3 NBA playoff games are postponed as the 6 teams involved sit in protest after shooting of Jacob Blake
[26] NBA announces agreement between players union to convert franchise-owned-and-operated arenas into voting facilities for resumption of NBA playoffs
[28] Chadwick Boseman dies of colon cancer at the age of 43

Monthly Mood Board //

Until tomorrow, Meryn


CURRENTLY // JULY 2020

Reading // I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown, The Guest List by Lucy Foley, Where to Begin by Cleo Wade, The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister, Every Tool’s a Hammer by Adam Savage, The Shadows by Alex North, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, Educated by Tara Westover, and All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Planning // to postpone Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip for 2021, crossing fingers for an October road trip through up state New York to western Vermont with Kyle, intentional eating, movement, and reading in August

Watching // Officer Anthony Dia’s televised funeral , Cleveland Indian’s baseball (without fans), Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, beauty youtube, planner youtube, the most hilarious TikTok (trend) that literally makes me laugh every time I watch it (below)

Cooking // pork chops, butter steak with homemade butter mashed potatoes for my birthday dinner, fresh key lime pie, bacon kale and sweet potato egg cups

Eating // 10 whole30 days at the start of the month, Cinco De Mayo, Chief’s iced sugar cookies (birthday treat from boss), Dunkin’ donuts from my #1 wheelchair vendor, homegrown cherry tomatoes, chicken tacos and pulled pork sliders from Witch’s Hat Brewing Co. (South Lyons, MI)

Drinking // Biggby’s sweet foam caramel cold brew (10/10), Starbuck’s cold brew with cinnamon almond milk foam (3/10 bitter, not a fan), craft beer from Witch’s Hat

Crafting // update to gallery wall, silk flower bouquets for BFF’s wedding

Going // first time back to Target since March, bonfire at Kyle’s coworker’s in Gibbsonberg, Hoen’s Garden Center, neighborhood walks and bike rides

Loving // new air-purifying house plant – Crouton the croton, picking tomatoes from our tomato plant (birthday present from Kyle), surprise Folklore album drop by Taylor Swift, thriller book swap with BFF, finding sticky-love notes Kyle leaves me around our apartment

Dreaming // 100k net worth by 2021, home ownership with Kyle, of the upcoming fall season – so excited for pumpkin desserts, beautiful fall colors, crisp mornings, and fingers crossed for the return of Cleveland Brown’s football

Feeling // terrified as I witnessed an assault in Toledo and called 911, disgusting covered in sweat after treating a patient for 25 minutes, accomplished having read 15 books since the start of quarantine, confident in my beautiful and strong body, anxious during COVID-19 nasal swap (tested twice in July by the National Guard), uncertain for our upcoming presidential election (voter safety, voter suppression, USPS mail delays, Trump’s threat to delay election day)

Listening // Podcasts: Approachable, Live Free Creative (ep. 35 Family Traditions Through the Year), Just the Good Stuff with Rachel Mansfiled (ep. 1 Priscilla Tsai – CEO + Founder Of Cocokind), Middle Ground Podcast (ep. 4 Body Image Q&A), Cleo Wade’s audiobook Where to Begin, The Michelle Obama Podcast, Nutritional Freedom, The Financial Confessions

Listening // Spotify Playlists + Music: All Out 00s, This is Bo Burnham, Today’s Top Hits, This is Bleachers, This is Taylor Swift, Folklore by Taylor Swift (cardigan, the last great american dynasty, exile, and seven on repeat + stuck in my head)

Celebrating // PT classmate’s bridal shower, my 27th birthday, 20 books finished in 2020, approval for my 7th custom wheelchair!

Learning // about my personal racial biases, working to be an antiracist, COVID-19 really isn’t going anywhere any time soon and we are all navigating a new normal, how fortunate and blessed I am to have had the loving and supportive parents that I have (perspective via Educated)

Buying // Roku, new Happy Planner product, Olive and June nail polish, Sephora birthday order (had to get that free birthday gift)

Current Events // via wikipedia
[4] Kanye West announces his campaign in the US presidential election via Twitter
[13] Washington Redskins announce decision to change team nickname and logo after decades of criticism
[16] NFL announces 72 players have tested positive for COVID-19
[17] civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis dies of pancreatic cancer, age of 80
[22] Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issues a statewide mandate requiring masks to be worn indoors and outdoors whenever social distancing isn’t possible
[24] Cleveland Indians open 2020 season with win at home against Kansas City Royals
[25] record high temperature of 21.7° C (71.1° F) is recorded on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard
[31] Trump announces his intentions to ban TikTok from operating in the US

Monthly Mood Board //

Until tomorrow, Meryn


CURRENTLY // JUNE 2020

Reading // The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda, The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Planning // weekend getaway in Western Michigan along the coast of Lake Michigan, a July whole30 next month

Watching // Facebook live video of The Toledo Zoo’s reveal of Lily the Wombat, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man with host Emmanuel Acho (linked here), planner and beauty youtube as always

Cooking // homemade meatball subs with broccoli salad for Father’s Day dinner, lots of salads with roasted carrots and sweet potato with some kind of protein like chicken sausage, kielbasa, or meatballs

Eating // Durty Bird, The Executive Diner, Cinco De Mayo, QQ’s Kitchen, Zingo’s, The Soup Cafe (Lansing, MI), Lakeside Cafe (Muskegon, MI), Grand Armory Brewing Company (Grand Haven, MI), The Biscuit (Holland, MI)

Drinking // Biggby iced coffee, lacroix, Arby’s jamocha shake, beer → Pigeon Hill Brewing Co. and Unruly Brewing Company (Muskegon, MI), Grand Armory Brewing Company (Grand Haven, MI), Big Lake Brewing (Holland, MI)

Crafting // ehh, not a very creative month, gave up on #the100dayproject at the beginning of the month when a lot of Instagram accounts stopped posting due to heightened exposure of the Black Lives Matter movement, lost steam with planner spreads at the end of the month when work hours ramped back up to normal

Going // first weekend visit back to Cleveland since January to see Kyle’s dad for his birthday/Father’s Day, weekend getaway to Western Michigan including USS SILVERSIDES Submarine Museum (Muskegon, MI), P. J. Hoffmaster State Park (Norton Shores, MI), Windmill Island Gardens (Holland, MI)

Loving // Lily the Wombat at The Toledo Zoo, Book of the Month subscription, picnic lunch and catching up with friends home from California, dog sitting for Kyle’s coworkers – pupper was so well behaved and calm

Dreaming // visiting national parks, road trips in Escape Camper Vans, visiting friends in California, fall and football season in Nebraska

Feeling // scared during sobriety test at 2am on the side of the highway while semis rush past driving 70+ mph (DD’ing for Kyle and his coworkers), upset and discouraged with the removal of my paid drive time privilege at work, overwhelmed with my increasing hours at work, like I’m falling more and more in love with Kyle through this pandemic, proud of my weight loss journey

Listening // Podcasts: Nutritional Freedom, Live Free Creative, Approachable, Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach and Donald, The Financial Confessions

Listening // Spotify Playlists: 90s Pop Rock Essentials, All Out 00s, Today’s Top Hits, This is Jason Mraz, 2000s Teen Angst. Song: Savage Love by Jason Derulo on repeat

Celebrating // 20 lb. weight loss, childhood friend’s baby shower (from afar, because of COVID), 20 blog posts shared, 2 custom wheelchair deliveries, high school BFF asked me to be her maid of honor, Father’s Day with homemade dinner and an evening walk at a state nature preserve, improving work hours to 30-40 hours a week by the end of the month

Learning // how to be an anti-racist, my own personal racial biases, researching engagement ring styles, learning about the 4 c’s of diamond quality

Supporting // Black Lives Matter, signing petitions to bring justice to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Julius Jones #8cantwait initiative for Toledo community (read more here), requested books from Toledo Public Library about race (all recommendations found here)

Buying // bike shorts from Amazon, new happy planner product, Lulu’s dress, new Nutpods flavor (toasted marshmallow)

Monthly Mood Board //

Current Events // via wikipedia
[4] Virginia Governor orders removal of Robert E. Lee monument in the state capital Richmond
[7] number of worldwide cases of COVID-19 surpasses 7 million, US remains global epicenter account for approximately 26% of all reported and confirmed cases in the world
[9] Harvard University study suggests COVID-19 may have been spreading in China as early as August 2019
[15] Supreme Court rules that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against individuals on basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity
[22] NASCAR launches an investigation after a noose was found in the garage of Bubba Wallace, the lone Black driver in the series at Talladega Superspeedway (Alabama)
[23] NASCAR and the FBI uncover the “noose” was in fact the garage door pull, had not been touched or moved since early last fall
[24] MLB commissioner implements a 60 game season, players to report to training camps on July 1 to prepare for a July 23rd or 24th opening day
[30] Minor League Baseball cancels its 2020 season due to COVID-19 pandemic

Until tomorrow, Meryn


CURRENTLY // MAY 2020

Reading // The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo, Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Planning // a return to my previous work schedule (going between each building every day) for June 1st, a cheat day of June 5th aka national donut day

Watching // Chef’s Table: Massimo Bottura, Melissa Urban’s Gus the Duck saga, local news coverage for riots in response to police, video of Flint, MI sheriff Christopher Swanson addressing and marching in solidarity with protesters

Cooking // zuppa toscana soup from The Defined Dish, black pepper chicken from The Defined Dish cookbook, chicken lettuce wraps from Life in the Lofthouse, sweet and savory chicken salad from Mary’s Whole Life

Eating // solely whole30 up until May 14th, took a few days off, then 97% whole30 through May 29th, homemade frozen fruit popsicles, lots of potatoes (frozen hash browns, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes)

Drinking // new la croix flavors – LimonCello, Hi-Biscus!, and old faithful Key Lime, hot coffee at work with either Nutpods or sugar free vanilla almond milk, always always Biggby ice coffee, either black or with a splash of coconut milk

Pinning // more whole30 meal ideas, sweet treats like coffee cookie crack bars and birthday cake pancakes, how to care for string of pearls, retro modern house numbers (for no other reason than style appeal), solitaire style engagement rings

Crafting // my own hand written fonts via Calligraphr.com (inspiration via Tik Tok), weekly planner spreads, #the100dayproject over half way through!

Going // walks at Toledo Botanical Gardens, Oak Openings, Westwinds, Wiregrass, and WW Knight Nature Preserve, vital stops at Biggby and Kroger, short stay in Defiance to deliver Mother’s day flowers

Loving // having evening fires in our fireplace, 25 lb. kettle bell, string of peals house plant (Margarita) Kyle gifted me for our 6 year anniversary, Toledo Public Library for borrowing digital books, Origins GinZing gel moisturizer, hanging out, listening to music, and reading on the balcony, spring blooms, patient’s doodles on the therapy gym whiteboard

Dreaming // of traveling literally anywhere beyond a 50 mile radius from Toledo, OH, but also returning to Scotland (inspired by reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine which is set in Glasgow)

Feeling // scared, worried, but hopeful we’ve turned a corner, at least in Ohio

Listening // Podcasts: binged Nutritional Freedom – Claire Siegel’s new podcast discussing “sustainable nutritional health habits and living a life in alignment with your values”, Live Free Creative episode 91 featuring Elise Cripe discussing her three things method, Almost 30 – I’ve just started episode 319 with Rami Sethi about wealth, Approachable with beauty youtube sensation Samantha Ravndahl, The Financial Confessions was back with 2 new episodes this month after a COVID hiatus

Listening // Spotify Playlists: 2000s Teen Angst, This is Adele, This is Lord Huron, This is Of Monsters and Men, This is The 1975, Today’s Top Hits, Lights Lacquer playlists including Olivia + Mila (in conjunction with their launch of nude nail polishes)

Celebrating // 6 year anniversary with Kyle, Mom’s birthday with a meatloaf dinner in our apartment, the re-opening of Ohio businesses including bars and restaurants for outdoor dining, high school best friend Leeann’s engagement, finding toilet paper at Kroger – like Charmin, not just Kroger brand, custom wheelchair delivery day x 2!

Learning // my preferred literary genre at this point in my life is thriller/suspense/mystery, to love myself through the ups and downs of a weight loss journey (down 18 pounds since the first of the year)

Supporting // Hoen’s Garden Center in Holland, #irunwithmaud a 2.23 mile nation wide walk/run in honor of Ahmaud Arbery on what would have been his 26th birthday, Sodbusters hole-in-the-wall bar in downtown Sylvania, joined Book of the Month with my first selection coming in June

Buying // bath and body works candles, soaps, and hand lotion, Happy Planner product, industrial looking strings lights for the balcony, Kyle bought a tin Guinness sign for the bar area

Monthly Mood Board // a collection of images I’ve saved on instagram

Current Events // via wikipedia
[6] video surfaces of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery (February 23, 2020) by 2 white men in his Georgia neighborhood by 2 white men
[11] Shanghai Disneyland reopens with new social distancing rules, death toll from COVID-19 in the US exceeds 80,000
[17] NASCAR becomes the 1st American sports league to resume its season
[19] Edenville Dam in central Michigan collapses after 3 days of heavy rainfall resulting in declaration of state of emergency for 3 central Michigan counties
[25] George Floyd is murdered by Minneapolis officer who was recorded on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck eventually causing his death, protests and riots break out nation wide in response to Floyd’s death to bring attention to continued police brutality
[28] death toll from COVID-19 in the US exceeds 100,000
[30] SpaceX launches Crew Dragon Demo-2 carrying 2 NASA astronauts to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral
[31] the number of worldwide cases surpasses 6 million and the US remains the global epicenter accounting for ~29% of all reported cases in the world

Until tomorrow, Meryn


CURRENTLY // APRIL 2020

Reading // You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Planning // #whole30athome meals, incorporating running into weekly workout routine, an update to my gallery wall with original watercolor art from @dawningrace and art print from Worthwhile Paper

Watching // YouTube videos on the tv via Chromecast, 2020 NFL draft (video conferencing edition), Leslie Jordan’s Instagram videos (basically diary entries and quarantine commentary, personal fav from March here)

Cooking // simple, Whole30 meals → egg casseroles, mashed red potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes and carrots, chicken sausage, seasoned ground beef, turkey, and chicken, chili, soup, meals from The Defined Dish cookbook and Healthy Little Peach blog

Eating // frozen fruit like mango, strawberries, pineapple, and peach, Ferris cherries, berries and nuts mix, take out from Durty Bird for our 6 year fake-aversay, whole30 approved Chipotle chicken bowl

Drinking // Jamocha shakes from Arby’s (pre-whole30), Hi-Biscus! La Croix, Biggby black coffee, unsweeted vanilla almond milk

Pinning // whole30 meal ideas, Half Baked Harvest recipes (hello post-whole30), “must read” book recommendation lists, geometric art prints, gallery wall inspo

Crafting // coloring free color pages (@haveanicedayy_ with Pottery Barn here, National Park pages from @thelandmarkproject here, @morganharpernichols with Garden24 here, Happy Planner here), #100daysofcreativeclusters, weekly planner spreads

Going // to and from work, neighborhood walks, Irwin Prairie State Nature Preserve, Oak Openings, Biggby’s drive-thru, Kroger

Loving // reading on my NOOK eReader, $7 tulips from Kroger, Paige Poppe’s new spring collection, almond and honey tree hut sugar scrub, Zoom coffee dates with #girlgang, snapchat video calls with James and Rikki, book suggestions from Reese’s Book Club

Dreaming // traveling in the Midwest (Cincinnati OH, Milwaukee WI, Madison WI, Grand Rapids MI, Traverse City MI, Indianapolis IN), strolling the aisles of Target, girls trip to Waco, Texas this fall (plz don’t get cancelled, kthnx)

Feeling // more worried and concerned as the risk and likelihood for my buildings having a positive COVID-19 case increases day by day (rumor is there’s a SNF in Lucas county that is 75% infected and that’s not including staff), also feeling so grateful that for the entire month of April, both my buildings have had 0 patient cases

Listening // less podcasts (spending more intentional time on the phone with my mom during daily commute), this Amy Tangerine podcast episode with Kate Northup (inspired to read her book, Do Less: The Unexpected Strategy for Women to Get More of What They Want in Work and Life), Lauv’s single Modern Loneliness (on repeat), artists like Maggie Rogers, The Fray, Alec Benjamin, Michael Bublé, Spotify Playlists: Today’s Top Hits, All Out 00s

Celebrating // 6 year fake-aversary with Kyle, Milo the therapy cat’s life (he was estimated to be 14 years old and spent 7 years bringing joy to the residents at the facility), LOL not having COVID-19

Learning // stupid life hacks and catchy popular music on Tik Tok, the stock market is VOLATILE but, as Kyle reminds me, “it’s not about timing the market, but time in the market”, as a kid you think your parents have it all together so it’s kinda disheartening when you realize they don’t

Supporting // Steffi Lynn of @haveanicedayy_ (purchased a mystery bag which included a pin, 2 stickers, and a t-shirt for $25) Home Slice pizza for date night pre-whole30, @dawningrace original watercolor (snagged off IG for $38.50), California BFF with a LUSH care package because she’s a badass acute care PT on the front lines helping (proof here)

Monthly Mood Board // a new addition to the monthly round up, a collection of images I’ve saved on instagram, very excited about this

Until tomorrow, Meryn


CURRENTLY // MARCH 2020

Reading // Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero, Governor Mike DeWine’s tweets for Ohio COVID-19 coverage

Planning // the first posts of my new blog, Goodwill donation (never happened), to vote in the primaries absentee ✔, to complete the 2020 census online ✔

Watching // Tiger King on Netflix, classic Disney movies (Beauty and the Beast, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella), Patrick McDonald’s “Coronda Chronicles” on Instagram (article by Travel + Leisure here), COVID-19 news coverage, DeWine’s daily 2PM press conferences, Tik Toks (fell down that rabbit hole real quick during self-quarantine)

Cooking // Half Baked Harvest 5 ingredient beer bread, The Defined Dish tomato basil soup from her cookbook, The Food Lab lasagna (similar recipe here)

Eating // all of our meals at home, meatloaf, chicken stir fry, corn beef and cabbage, salmon, soup on Sundays

Drinking // iced coffee from Biggby, Key Lime La Croix, Black Cherry Waterloo, my own creation of vanilla almond milk foam with cinnamon poured over hot or ice coffee with a drizzle of honey

Pinning // content about starting a blog, Whole30 foods and recipes, color palettes

Crafting // coloring Paige Poppe printable coloring pages, blog posts, weekly happy planner layouts, at home workouts

Going // only to work, Kroger, Biggby and Arby’s drive thru, on lots of walks around the neighborhood, also Oak Openings and at the local reservoir

Loving // time spent with Kyle, art journaling and writing, stretching after my at home workouts, the consistency and accountability of my daily habit trackers, bubbles and bath bombs, finding hand written notes from Kyle around the apartment, inspirational quotes and art throughout Instagram

Dreaming // for the end of COVID-19 and quarantine, of traveling locally and regionally, of going to my favorite local coffee shops (Maddie and Bella Coffee Roasters, Black Kite Coffee) and restaurants (Fleetwood’s Tap Room, The Heights, El Vaquero) post-COVID

Feeling // scared, anxious, uneasy, fear but also hope, pride, strength, solidarity

Listening // Music: Pumped Pop playlist on Spotify, Alec Benjamin, The Fray, Adele’s album 25. Podcasts: The Financial Confessions, Live Free Creative, NPR’s Hidden Brain, The Goal Digger Podcast, The Latte Factor Podcast, Craft a Life You Love, Crafty Ass Female

Celebrating // starting new daily habits (flossing, dishes at the end of the day), purchased my first individual stocks and index funds, starting my blog!

Supporting // Paige Poppe, Worthwhile Paper, Kammock


Until tomorrow, Meryn


Image Sources:
Mike DeWine press conference
#InThisTogetherOhio
Patrick McDonald and Coronda the Mannequin
Painted letter D by Steffi Lynn
Happy Planner quote