Monthly Roundup: April Favorites

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Apparently April was a month of entertainment.

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been in a massive spring cleaning mood. While I’m not going to put “Spring Cleaning” on my favorites list, it definitely was a theme for April.

April is also a busy month work-wise so when I head home, I try not to spend time aimlessly scrolling on my phone and staring at yet another screen. I think that’s why I’m currently ahead of schedule for my yearly reading goal (18/35). I found myself choosing to sit down to read or listen to a podcast or audiobook in the evenings.

{ONE} The Nightingale 

The month started with a quick trip to Florida so I packed The Nightingale because I heard good things about it. Oh my goodness, it was amazing. A definite must-read for those interested in World War 2. I couldn’t put it down and although it has over 600 pages, I read it quickly. Highly recommend.

{TWO} I Am Malala

I’m a little late to the party with this one. I Am Malala definitely had its moment a few years back but I finally decided to read it this month. I was captivated by her story and inspired by her courage and determination.

{THREE} Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion

I am not a die-hard football fan but I do love a good underdog story. When the Eagles won the Super Bowl, it was definitely a moment to remember. The team’s first Super Bowl win, an unstoppable season, and a coach with a unique sense of leadership. I enjoyed reading Fearless: How an Underdog Becomes a Champion, written by Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. I loved understanding his point of view and thought process about the Big Game and beyond.

{FOUR} Michael Jackson Experience

I’m a huge Michael Jackson fan. I listened to his music growing up and couldn’t go into a college exam or give a presentation without first listening to Smooth Criminal. True story, ask anyone. For my birthday, my mom bought us tickets to see a Michael Jackson Experience concert, where a group of performers danced MJ’s infamous moves and recreated iconic concerts from over the years. It was truly an incredible experience and I’m glad my mom and I went together!

{FIVE} Shazam

I didn’t know what to expect when entering the theatre to watch Shazam. I avoided reviews but heard through the grapevine (aka my brothers) that it was a great superhero movie. They were right! I loved it!

{SIX} Captain Marvel

We’re huge Avenger fans over at the Papili household. Before seeing End Game (hopefully soon!) we needed to watch Captain Marvel first. Now we’re ready (although I don’t know if I’m emotionally prepared for whatever’s about to go down).

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Monthly Roundup: March Favorites

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My birthday month is almost over, but what a great month it was! The weather (slowly) got warmer and spring is definitely in the air. I got my nails done for my birthday and it made me so ready for shorts, flip flops, dresses, and all things spring fashion.

I’m also ending the month by heading to Florida for a few days with my mom and cousins. By the time you read this, I’ll be en route to the Sunshine State. I can’t wait to relax during the quick getaway before the craziness of April.

{ONE} Speaking at a Social Media Conference

This month I had the opportunity to speak at a social media conference. I wrote all about it in a recent blog post so you can read that for more information. The conference was a definite highlight of the month!

{TWO} Daylight Savings

It’s a bit weird that daylight savings is a monthly favorite, but I am loving the fact that we have more sunlight in the evenings. During the winter, I struggled with staying productive after work because it was just so cold and dark. Now I’m getting home when it’s still light outside and it makes the evenings so much better. It’s just another reminder that summer is coming.

{THREE} Rita’s Water Ice

Not gonna lie, a mango gelati from Rita’s Water Ice is one of my favorite summertime treats. There’s a Rita’s close to our house (a blessing and a curse) so Luke and I enjoyed our first Rita’s of the season one night this month on our porch. It made me so excited for summer and spending more time outside. I captured the photo above when I noticed our dog Thalia living her best life that night, too.

{FOUR} I Turned 26

I turned 26 this month and felt the love from friends and family. My mom and I had a girls day that included coffee, getting our nails done, lunch at Panera, and shopping. It’s turned into a tradition of sorts and I love that. Luke and I also went out to dinner and it was delicious. If you haven’t already read it, I wrote a post about 25 things I learned from Year 25. You can check it out here. 

{FIVE} Becoming Mrs. Lewis

I like to include at least one book in my monthly roundup because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to read at least 35 books this year. (Check out the progress here.) I read 4 books in March, which isn’t terrible considering how busy this month ended up being! One of them was Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a non-fiction about C.S. Lewis’ wife. I love the Chronicles of Narnia series and the rest of C.S. Lewis’ work, but I didn’t know anything about his wife until this book. It was dry at times, but overall really interesting and definitely a recommended read if you are a C.S. Lewis fan.

Monthly Roundup: February Favorites

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I’m officially ready for spring. After a glimpse of sun and blue skies, I’m ready for a change. It’s odd when you get springlike weather in the middle of winter, but I’m not complaining!

Delaware weather is especially odd. One day it’s 60 degrees and sunny and three days later, it snows 5 inches. How bizarre

I discovered a lot of favorites in February and I’m excited to share them with you below.

{ONE} Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Netflix series

Have you joined the #SparkJoy club yet? As if I wasn’t already obsessed with cleaning and decluttering, the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo series came out on Netflix and I’m hooked. I refolded all of our clothes and threw things away I’ve been keeping for no apparent reason. It feels so good and has sparked tons of joy already 😉

{TWO} The Swans of Fifth Avenue

I’m making steady progress on my reading goal for the year! I feel inspired in the winter to read as much as I can because free time in spring and summer tend to be filled with outdoor activities. This book was especially fascinating because it’s based on a true story so I liked doing my own research as I read to learn more about the characters and overall plot.

{THREE} Stuff You Should Know Podcast

I’m on a podcast kick, as I’ve mentioned before, and am always looking for new podcasts to try. A Stuff You Should Know podcast episode titled, “How Central Park Works,” caught my eye because 1) I love Central Park, and 2) I don’t know the history of how it came to be. I loved it because it was both educational and entertaining to listening to.

{FOUR} Insanity

Insanity is back. I completed the nine-week HIIT-inspired workout challenge a year ago and it kicked my butt! This time around, Luke is doing it with me so although it’s challenging, I feel more motivated since I have a workout partner.

{FIVE} The Last Lecture

Another great book from February. This is another true story that tugs at the heart strings on every page. A professor is asked to give his “last lecture” and then finds out he has terminal cancer with only a few months to live. The book outlines his thoughts and lessons about life and it truly is an incredible story.

{SIX} Broccoli and Cheddar Soup Instant Pot recipe

I’ve been really into making soup lately. I blame it on the cold weather. I always crave warm, cozy meals for dinner. The other night I was craving Panera’s broccoli and cheddar soup so I decided to try making it at home! My mom gave me an Instant Pot recipe to try and it was delicious! I definitely will make it again.

Monthly Roundup: January Favorites

I took a little break from these monthly roundup posts because life got cray.

When I realized it was time for a monthly roundup post, I did a double take at my calendar. To be honest, January went by sooo slowly that it seemed like it would last forever. I think it was the cold weather and gloomy days. When it’s dark by 3pm every day, night feels like it goes on forever and it can be hard to push through!

However, here are a few things that I’ve deemed my January favorites because each helped me get through the long weeks.

{ONE} The Woman in Cabin 10

At the beginning of the year, I resolved to read at least 35 books this year. I’m 5 books in and by far, The Woman in Cabin 10 has been my favorite {so far}. I’m a huge fan of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, so I’m used to a bit of suspense. This book was a bit slow at first but after a few chapters, I couldn’t put it down! Check out my 2019 Bookshelf here. 

{TWO} Hallway Update

Oh, adulting. It’s funny what you get excited about once you have your own house! This month Luke and I finally repainted our downstairs hallway from a dusty brown to an off-white. Radical, I know, but it’s crazy what a difference a little paint switch does to a space! It also feels good to check it off the project list, so it’s a win-win.

{THREE} Bullet Journaling

Month 1 of bullet journaling was a success! I absolutely love this style of organizing and planning because it combines a few of my favorite things: lists, grids, and trackers. I’m not your typical bullet journal-er, though. I still have my Bloom Planners’ Vision Planner to plan out my monthly/weekly events and goals and I bring that with me to work every day while my bullet journal typically stays at home. I’ll be writing a full blog post on how I bullet journal but for now, I’ve grown to love my habit trackers, reading list, and spreads for monthly/yearly goals and events.

{FOUR} Bevgo Infuser Water Bottle

I’ve mentioned this water bottle already this month, but I feel like it needs another shoutout. No lie, it makes drinking water so fun. Before, I had trouble drinking even 32 ounces of water day, but now I can easily finish 64. A few of my favorite additions are lemons, limes, and strawberries.

Monthly Roundup: October Favorites

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WEDDING MONTH.

That was the theme of October. Tons of checklists, meetings, last-minute fittings, packing, coffee…

And then finally…

OUR WEDDING DAY.

By far, hands down, 100% no question about it, October flew by faster than the rest of 2018 put together. I will have to write an entire blog post on just the wedding day because how can one sum up the best day ever in a single paragraph? It’s impossible.

Below are a few of my October favorites.

{ONE} Milburn Orchards

One of my favorite memories of October was my bachelorette-ette party with two of Luke’s younger sisters. We planned an entire “basic white girl” themed day complete with Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, leggings and boots, and a trip to the local orchard. It was a blast and I’m so excited to call these two my sisters!

{TWO} The Paris Wife

I finished The Paris Wife this month, which is a historical fiction novel about Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. I borrowed it from a friend because I loved the cover (yep, totally judged it by the cover) and once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. It’s a bit dry in some parts and a little risque at times, but overall it was a good read.

{THREE} Wedding Day

The best day of my life!!! It went by way too quickly and was filled with my all-time favorite things and people (duh!). It was a rainy Saturday in October so a lot of our photos were in the rain. Honestly, even though we didn’t get the beautiful golden hour with fall lighting that I had envisioned for so long, it was still a day to remember and one that we will cherish forever. I got to marry my best friend, how cool is that?! Check out the hashtag #PapiliEverAfter for some guest photos while we eagerly await the professional pics together!

{FOUR} Aruba/Renaissance Island

We went to Aruba for our honeymoon and oh my goodness, it was stunning and we cannot WAIT to go back! There are so many things we wanted to do that we didn’t have time to get to so we will definitely be returning in the near future. A few highlights include beautiful sunsets over the ocean, Flamingo Beach, chilling in hammocks, and seeing beautiful fish swimming in the crystal clear blue water. Paradise.

{FIVE} Lilac Girls

I can’t put Lilac Girls down! I started it on our flight to Aruba and read it any chance I could while chilling on the beach. I love learning about American history, especially World War 2, and this book is about three girls from three different countries with three different experiences that occurred during World War 2: one from Germany, one from Poland, and one from America. Incredible read so far and I already highly recommend it.

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Monthly Roundup: September Favorites

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This month was the first full month living at our home. (To clarify, Luke will move in after we’re married in October!) One of my favorite things about our new home is how close I am to work; my commute is 5-10 minutes now instead of 45-60 minutes. It’s ah-maz-ing and honestly has positively impacted the quality of life. I do not miss sitting in traffic at 8am!

There was a lot of change in September. I’ve loved settling into a new routine and *slowly* making our house a home. I’ll have to publish a blog post soon to show you all the DIY projects we’re doing around the house to make it our own, but for now I’ll share a few of my favorites below.

{ONE} Bridal Shower

My fabulous bridesmaids, mom, and friends threw the best bridal shower! I didn’t want the typical pink and gold theme that you see all the time on Pinterest so that was my only request. It was the perfect Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired shower complete with cake pops (Thank you, Po!) and the classic engagement ring balloon. I definitely felt the love and was so thankful for everyone who came on the rainy Saturday morning ❤

{TWO} House Update

I mentioned this a bit above but September was a huge month for our house. We continued painting, unpacking, and arranging furniture. We got a piano from a friend so a house isn’t a home until we have a piano, right? Right. After the bridal shower, we had a blast putting everything away. It really made our house feel like ours when things were in cabinets and we weren’t eating on paper plates anymore 😉

{THREE} Meal Prep

Two gifts I received at my bridal shower were an Instant Pot and Joanna Gaines’ cookbook. I absolutely cannot WAIT to use them and have slowly tried my hand at meal prepping and planning on Sundays. In typical Keri fashion, I created a Google Doc (surprise, surprise) on possible meals and when to eat them during the week along with lists of available ingredients at our house and what we need to buy. Adulting at its finest 😉

{FOUR} Bloom Daily Planners’ Vision Planner & Stickers

I can’t say enough good things about Bloom Daily Planners. They are, by far, one of my favorite brands ever. After visiting their HQ last month, I walked away with a lot of their products including this Vision Planner and a few sticker packs. Guys, I’m telling you – the Vision Planner is THE BEST. I love that there are weekly columns, to-do lists, meal and water trackers, and goals lists. It really has helped me keep everything straight especially as the wedding gets closer and closer every day!

{FIVE} Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words

As mentioned in What I’ve Been Reading Lately, I’ve been into audiobooks and the Libby app lately. One of my recent reads was Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words, a biography all about Princess Diana. Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by her and although the book is pretty long, I definitely recommend it. It was about 22 hours via audiobook but it goes by quickly especially while cleaning or working on mindless tasks.

Here’s to a busy, fun, and extremely memorable October! 🙂

Monthly Roundup: August Favorites

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August, where did you go? I swear it was August 1st yesterday but alas, here we are, the end of another month.

This month was fun and crazy. There were many Firsts this month as you’ll see below. We also hit the “2 Months To Go” mark so the start of September is super exciting yet insane that our wedding day is almost here!

{ONE} Bloom Daily Planners

If you’re an avid reader or follow my social media, you know I’m a huge fan of Bloom Daily Planners. I’ve used their products for at least 5 years now and talk about them frequently on my social channels. This month Bloom surprised me by reaching out and asking me to visit their headquarters; it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. Their kindness was contagious and they graciously gave me products to give to friends and family. I even grabbed a new Vision Planner and it made me so excited to plan out the rest of the year! We had a lovely visit and I am so thankful for the opportunity to visit my favorite company. Thank you, Bloom!

{TWO} Spin Class

Another First that occurred this month was attending my first Spin Class. It was something I added last year in my 101 in 1,001 list and have kept an eye out for opportunities to try it out ever since. When my alma mater offered an alumni-only spin class at a discounted price, I couldn’t refuse! My friend and I went together and were sore for days afterward but I’m glad I did it and hope to attend another class soon!

{THREE} Pentatonix Concert

A coworker won tickets to a Pentatonix concert and couldn’t go so she gave them to me. It was such a lovely surprise and Pentatonix, as always, was unbelievable! We saw them back in December when they sang all of their Christmas hits but listening to them sing their other hits was a fun experience. Echosmith opened for them and they were also fantastic. Current favorite Pentatonix covers: The Evolution of Michael Jackson and Hallelujah.

{FOUR} Moving

HUGE First of the month was moving to our house (!!!). In a blur of packing and cleaning, the realization that I moved out of my childhood home into our future house didn’t hit me until I saw my stuff sitting in an empty room. Craziness. However, it has been a fun experience unpacking, settling in, and making a house our home. I’m sure I’ll be sharing more about that in the coming months!

{FIVE} Wedding Look

With two months to go, the to-do list should be dwindling down but it is, in fact, skyrocketing. All of the to-dos, however, have not been all been boring. For instance, this month I had my first dress fitting, found my veil, and had a hair trial! Putting the dress on again after a year was so exciting and made it all feel more real — I can’t wait to walk down the aisle and dance the night away.

{SIX} Date Night Diaries with Steve and Stacy Hart Podcast

I mentioned this podcast series in my recent post about my morning routine but I wanted to give it another shout out. Steve and Stacy discuss a variety of topics and keep Christ in the center of it. I love that. Each episode is between 30-45 minutes so it’s easily digestible and the perfect length to stay focused. Spoiler alert: Stacy is my wedding photographer!

{SEVEN} Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Don’t judge me but I totally purchased a PSL within 48 hours of Starbucks announcing they were back. I can’t help it — I love fall and everything about it. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. 😉 #SorryNotSorry