Core Memories, Fantasy Novels, and Vegan Jerky

A Court of Thorns and Roses

And just like that, July fades to August. Despite the miserably sweaty afternoons of this record-breaking hot month, I did collect a few awesome memories and gems. Here’s a monthly review of my life updates, favorite products, and memorable moments from July 2022.


I’m putting this category at the top today, because I demolished “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas in about three days. This book—this book was what my soul needed. After years of reading personal development and philosophy books, Maas’ thrilling fantasy romance ignited my imagination in a way I haven’t experienced since my creative writing days in college. I’ve even debated starting my own series of romantic fantasy…

A Court of Thorns and Roses


Holy moly, I switched up my daily workflow and instantly, my world of possibilities expanded. Rather than focusing solely on growing an Instagram account, I diversified my reach and began syndicating content to Medium, Pinterest, and Twitter—and it’s paying off. More traffic to the blog and less headaches for me, as I don’t feel the pressure of making one single platform carry the weight of my marketing goals. (Read a blogpost I wrote on this topic here.)

I also had the pleasure of recording a podcast episode for the “Free at Last” Podcast with We chatted about breaking free from generational conditioning and finding liberation in creativity. Stay tuned for the episode’s launch!


I’ve picked up my paints again! After some time away from blank canvases, I’ve created four new fluid paintings. One of them was a complete dud, and two of them didn’t thrill me—But I felt relief from building stress as I lost myself in the creative process. That’s what it’s about, right? Also, my kids each selected their favorite of these three paintings to hang in their bedrooms, which reminds me that everyone has their own unique taste and source of inspiration.

The fourth painting I created was a commissioned piece. With colors I’d never select myself, I carefully designed a painting that looks unlike anything I’ve made before—and I love it. Creating something for someone else, in an unfamiliar style, exercised portions of my creativity that haven’t seen the light of day in years. I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to permanently welcome commissions in the future. Stay tuned for a gallery of my artwork, coming to the site August 2022.

Home Paint Studio

Core Memories

This month was speckled with trips with the kids to our favorite park—to swim, explore the playground, and kick around some sand. We also took our first hike with both kids, who enjoyed running through the trees and throwing stones in secluded rivers. I’m making a note to take more hikes in the future.

One evening, my husband and I stole away for a night to remember—we attended a Banks concert at The Fillmore Detroit theater, and had such an incredible time. For both of us, Banks is a longtime favorite artist. I remember bonding with my husband over her early albums when we were first dating, and to this day we jam to her latest releases on everyday roadtrips. Read a blogpost I wrote about our trip here.


Let’s finish this Monthly Insight with some quick links to things I’m currently loving. As always, try to first find these goodies at local stores. Happy exploring!

Mzoo Sleep Eye Mask – This eye mask has been a GAME changer. Sleeping in total darkness helps me hit REM sleep quicker, and for longer stretches of time. I’m also incredibly grateful for the pressure it offers around my eyes, which feels incredible after staring at a screen all day.

Black Sleep Eye Mask

Brew Dr. Kombucha — “Love” flavor (Lavender, Chamomile, Jasmine Green Tea) – I didn’t think I liked kombucha until I tried this one, which is so heavenly (and admittedly has the least kombucha flavor out of all the ones I’ve tried). It’s a perfect drink for someone like me, who craves something different on summer days, but doesn’t enjoy alcohol. I found this one at a small local grocery store, but it’s also here on Amazon.

Brew Dr. Kombucha Can

Photo by Sammie Burgett / OM Alignment

Brentwood Home Crystal Cove Cushion Set – I still adore this cushion set. Lately I’ve been using the pranayama pillow behind my back for support as I type, and it keeps me from hunching. You can read my feature on these cushions for a detailed breakdown, or explore them on the Brentwood Home website.

Three Brentwood Home Yoga Cushions

Noble Jerky’s Vegan Jerky – Oh… guys… As a pescatarian, I haven’t had jerky in something like five or six years. We stumbled upon this vegan jerky at our local Sierra Outlet store and couldn’t believe how good it tasted. We’ve tried most of these flavors and each one is fantastic. They bring me back to fond memories I have as a kid, picking out bags of beef jerky with my dad in our old Walmart. Now, I can relieve those memories in a way that aligns with my values. I’m pretty pumped, to say the least!

Noble Jerky Vegan Jerky

Disclaimer: Affiliate links appear in this article, which means I may earn a small commission to support the blog from items purchased through these links. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own, and the companies mentioned do not have a say in what I write. Thank you!