I promise it’s my intention to make this a recurring feature here on the blog. April just got away from me with a number of appointments and other things popping up that took my focus away from the blog.
Now that May is here and things have settled down, I’m able to sit back and enjoy hobbies again in a way I didn’t really feel capable of last month. Which means I’ve got a few things to share for the Things I’m Enjoying Lately series!
(Full disclosure: links to specific products noted with a * are affiliate or referral codes)
1. New Pokémon Snap
Maybe it’s just me, but I love a good video game reboot of classics from my youth. There’s something so soothing about returning to the Pokémon universe with improved graphics and more involved gameplay. After my experience with Let’s Go: Eevee* I found myself eagerly looking forward to the release of New Pokémon Snap*.
I still find it weird that this premise (taking photos of Pokémon for research) works as a video game but it does. It’s so soothing to roll through and snap pictures as the little critters frolic and play, even if several of them are unrecognizable to me since they’re newer generations.
It’s been a real joy to take some time at the end of my workday to sit down with the game, even if some features don’t seem to be fully working properly.
2. 10K Training
I’m once again training for a race! I took something of a half-intended break from running after my half marathon in October, and it feels great to be back on the pavement and the trails.
Well, mostly great. I lost fitness and gained weight during my hiatus, which means running feels a bit different and a lot more challenging these first weeks back. As much as I remind myself not to be discouraged, it’s hard not to feel frustrated when I’m not able to hit the paces or run for the durations I used to be able to.
I’m also training our pup, Azula, to run with me. She’s a good runner once she clicks in, but the running-specific leash kind of seems like a great chew toy to her, as do my Brooks Adrenalines. We’re making progress and having fun together, but it does take some patience!
3. Amy’s Broccoli Cheddar Bake
I know this is a bit of a weird, oddly specific item to include, but I just keep coming back to this for lunch week after week.
Most of the time when I pack frozen meals for my lunches, I’m not that excited about lunch. I prefer to meal prep, but between being busy and going through lower periods with my depression, it doesn’t always happen that way.
I have a few standard brands and types I stick to when I get into one of these frozen lunch ruts, but recently I happened upon Amy’s brand Broccoli Cheddar Bake*, which I am always genuinely excited to heat up. A delicious combo of broccoli and cheesy mac? Count me in.
4. Iced Caramel Oatmilk Lattes from Coffee Tree Roasters
I’ve been in Pittsburgh for over five years now, so it’s about time I officially divulge my personal favorite local coffee shop–Coffee Tree Roasters!
Their caramel latte has long been my favorite, but recently I tried it with oatmilk and this combo took things to a whole different level.
While I try to limit my lattes to twice a week (Monday to start the workweek and Friday to celebrate making it to the end), I look forward to placing this order every time it’s a coffee day.
I also developed a habit at the start of the pandemic of having their coffee beans delivered directly to my porch thanks to their local delivery option, so I’m drinking CTR pretty much every day of the week.
5. Reading on my Kindle
I couldn’t even tell you which Kindle* I have anymore, as it was a Christmas gift many years ago when my need to easily transport numerous reading options finally overcame my youthful eBook snobbery. I think it’s a paperwhite?
Regardless, I go through phases where I’m very attached to my dedicated e-reader and other times where I’m print books all the way. As I’ve recently started reviewing books and accepting ARCs again, I’m back on the Kindle train since this is the easiest way to access digital review copies.
I also tend to reach for my Kindle when I do library reading, since Libby makes it super easy to check out digital copies that I don’t have to remember to return. No I don’t have library books from before the pandemic still sitting in the trunk of my car, why would you ask?
Honestly, I enjoy the reading experience on my Kindle pretty well for the most part, so much so that I’m considering whether I can or should upgrade my current case for it, which is admittedly showing some wear and tear. The device itself for sure isn’t, though, and it works as well as it did on day one, whenever that was.
6. All the Stickers in my Passion Planner Daily
I first learned about Passion Planners* when we received a donated batch to our AmeriCorps cohort back in 2014, and it was love at first passion roadmap (if you know, you know). Since they released the Passion Planner Daily, I’ve been a dedicated Daily user. I was very sad when their recent release of new planners did not include the daily, but thankfully reassuring comments on their Instagram let me know I can expect new designs sometime this summer.
I’ve stocked up on dailies for now, and one thing I’m particularly enjoying is using stickers in my daily planning. I don’t have strong artistic skills so I’m often struck with planner envy when I see bullet journals and photos of people’s gorgeous planners online. Stickers help me feel a little more polished and pretty in my daily planner.
In particular, I like Chelsea Brown Designs, whose Etsy shop has designs specifically fitted to the Passion Planner models, included my beloved Daily.
So, there you have it! These are just a few of the things in my regular self-care rotation at the moment. I’d love to hear what you’ve been enjoying lately in the comments below!