Love List: Books, Podcasts, Products & More

It has been a hot minute since I shared some of the things I've been loving lately. Actually, it has been nearly a year. It must be this time of year—it just makes me want to take stock of, refocus my energy on, and be grateful for the things I love.

Photo by Naghme Kn

Love List: Books

The House of Salt and Sorrows - Erin A. Craig

There are some mixed reviews on this book (isn't there always?) but I really loved it. I think this writer is incredibly talented and I have found myself really gravitating to this "retelling" genre of books. Apparently, this book is a retelling of the fairy-tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses—a fairy-tale I was unfamiliar with until reading this book. 

This book paints a vivid picture with beautiful imagery, from the landscape to the "fairy" shoes. I really loved it. And yes, I agree with critics that there are a few loose ends that leave me wanting more, but for the most part I was shocked and creeped out and thoroughly invested in what the heck is going on?! in the best way possible.

I really look forward to more from this author.

The Cruel Prince - Holly Black

I am such a sucker for an enchanted world and Holly Black doesn't disappoint with this book. Even better, it's a series! This story is full of faerie lore, betrayals, and strong characters and I was invested one chapter in.

I really like the main character, Jude, as well. There is something different about her than other main characters—I feel like she has a darkness that might just get the better of her in books to come. Who knows?! I look forward to finding out. 

I've already purchased the second book in the series and can't wait to see where the story leads.

Beyond the Pill - Dr. Jolene Brighton

Can I just say—wow! I ditched the pill almost two years ago and have been dealing with the repercussions of it ever since. This is a book that I really wished I had read at the beginning of my sans pill journey. But here I am. Reading it now.

Dr. Brighton lays out absolutely everything you need to know about how the pill affects every part of your body, and how to correct the negative side effects with food, lifestyle, and supplementation changes. The second half of the book is literally a 30 Day program to balance your hormones and start feeling optimal again.

I'd say that Dr. Brighton pushes her program and supplements a bit too much in the book, but I choose to focus on the teachings rather than the pitches and I've been learning SO much.

I have gone through the book and made a ton of notes and highlighted the crap out of it, so I feel ready now to start the program in the coming months. I'll have to keep you posted.

One note, though: This book is a must-read whether you plan on coming off hormonal birth control or not. She doesn't discriminate—she just wants women to understand the risks and the ways you can offset those risks, whether you plan on continuing use of the pill or not.

Love List: To Listen, Newsletters + Apps

Mindbodygreen Podcast

I have binge-listened to this podcast more than I have binge-watched any show on Netflix. It is PURE. FREAKING. GOLD. If you are even remotely interested in wellness then you will adore this podcast.

They have guests from every possible facet of the wellness world and talk candidly about every topic under the sun. I also think that the hosts are so natural in their interviews, which is a skill that can make or break a podcast for me.

Listen to this podcast. Seriously. Take a minute, find a topic that interests you and press play. And then slide into my DMs after so we can fangirl.

The Almost 30 Podcast

These two women are so relatable, first and foremost. They started this podcast to address the transition from 20's-to-30's that no one is talking about and then just kept on talking. They discuss wellness, transition, intuition and just finding yourself. I love them, I love their guests, I love their topics. Highly recommend if you find yourself feeling a little stuck lately.

The Calm Collective Podcast

The Calm Collective started as a blog (one I read regularly) and then Cassandra branched out into the podcast world and I'm so glad she did. 

This podcast is all about finding yourself, dealing with your shit, and understanding who and why you are. It is a bit more on the "woo-woo" side with discussions about mediums, manifestation, and self-awareness but Cassandra herself doesn't consider herself a highly "woo-woo" person so it's the perfect blend of the two. 

If you are interested in becoming more self-aware and growing through what you go through, listen to this podcast.

The Daily Good Newsletter

I stumbled across this daily newsletter and I've been really enjoying seeing it in my inbox every day.

It is sent from the good trade and offers resources for the conscious consumer. Every day, they send a combination of something to watch, something to read, something to listen to, someone to follow, and/or a sustainable brand to explore. The minimalistic design is perfect for quick information and I've found a number of interesting articles, podcasts, songs and more through this newsletter.

OvaGraph App

Developed by the author of Taking Charge of Your Fertility (another book I REALLY wish I had just sucked it up and read earlier in my hormone health journey), this app is an all-encompassing cycle tracking app. You can track everything from basal body temperature, cervical fluid, periods, cervix position and more to accurately determine what your cycles are doing. This is especially helpful to someone like me who isn't on the pill anymore and is dealing with some really weird symptoms because of it. (If any of those things sound unfamiliar to you, READ THE BOOK.)

I also love that it is both a website and an app that you can use interchangeably. So if I'm working away on my computer, I don't have to pull my phone out of my bag and if I'm scrolling away on my phone, I don't have to log on to my computer. Very convenient.

Lover Album - Taylor Swift

I mean...d'uh.

Love List: Beauty + Style

Fitglow Lip Serums

I have been a fan of Fitglow skincare for years and when I saw that their Lip Serums were gaining a cult following, I had to give them a try. Turns out that cult following is well deserved.

These Lip Serums are essentially highly pigmented, 100% natural lip glosses. They come in a wide range of colours (I purchased "Koi") and never, ever dry out your lips. In fact, I've seen people purchase the clear version as an overnight lip mask to keep their lips moisturized.

I'm a big fan and plan on collecting as many colours as I can. 

I've been incorporating a lip scrub into my nightly skincare routine in preparation for winter and so far it's been a great addition. I usually follow up the scrub with a heavy coat of the Lip Service lip balm to prevent any chapping overnight and so far I've been impressed with how great my lips feel, even the next day.

There are no words for how comfortable these track pants are. Easily my favourite pair of lounge pants I've ever owned. They have thick elastic and are the perfect fit. I purchased the yellow pair (and the matching sweater...) and couldn't be more happy with the look and feel of them.

I have used shampoo and conditioner bars for years—I actually used to buy mine off of Etsy—and these are easily the best I've ever tried. The shampoo bars lather effortlessly and don't dry out my finicky hair, and the conditioner bar actually has a silky, detangling effect on my hair, which is saying something since most conditioner bars get tangled in my hair before I even leave the shower. They also smell amazing and use water-safe ingredients.

In addition to their products being effective and salon-quality, the company is also amazing. They use the most minimal amount of packaging as possible when sending you your products to lessen the environmental impact, along with a number of other eco-conscious business choices. Read more about them here and you'll fall in love just like I did.

Love List: Life

Regular gym classes

I recently re-joined a gym and have scheduled in 3-4 workouts a week.

I go to boxing 1-2x a week, barre 1x a week, and a sculpt class 1x a week. I am also currently trying to find a yoga class I can commit to with my schedule. So far, it's been really good for me to not only have classes I enjoy going to but also a schedule I can work with.

Before I used to schedule a workout every day, sometimes twice a day, and that wasn't feasible for me. I'd skip the workouts and feel like a failure or I'd force myself to go and get burnt out. Four times a week is plenty for me right now, and so far it's been really great for my mental health.

A.M. Reading

Every morning I read a book. I don't put any boundaries on it—some days it's a self-help book, sometimes it's fiction; some days it's a book I've been reading for a few weeks, other times I start a brand new book.

I absolutely LOVE reading and getting the chance to start my day off with a book has done wonders for making me into more of a morning person.

2-liter water bottle at work

I recently purchased a 2-liter water bottle from Amazon and have been keeping it at work. I chose it because it had a straw since I find drinking that much water so much easier with a straw. I love it and have been able to drink two liters each work day easily thanks to this addition.

Eventually I'd like to replace it with a glass version (I'm trying to eliminate plastic containers and water bottles) but for now, it's perfect.

That is everything for now but I look forward to updating and adding new loves as the seasons progresses.