“Reading, for me, is like this: consumptive, pleasing, calming, as much as edifying. It’s how I feel after a good dinner. That’s why I do it so often: It feels wonderful. ”
― Tara Bray Smith
Books, films, food, repeat. Anybody else out there spending more time on all three? Man, have I been on a movie-watching kick lately! And by “lately”, of course, I mean since March. (Ugh!) Here are some of the best ones I’ve seen this year:
The Kindness of Strangers
Dare to be Wild
A Little Chaos
This Beautiful Fantastic
The Good Liar
Kate & Leopold
Tristan & Isolde
Rules Don’t Apply
The Windermere Children
Losing Sight of the Shore
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Book Thief
Far from the Madding Crowd
Pride & Prejudice
Oh, and the BOOKS! I’ve been meaning to share an updated list of must-read books with you too! Have you read ‘The Island’ by Victoria Hislop? That one is still sitting at the top of this year’s list for me. Of course ALL of Susan Branch’s books will continue to complete me too. 🙂 Did you know she released a another book this month? It’s called ‘Home for Christmas’ and the description says it’s “a heart-warming tale about the enduring love of family that reads like a long illustrated letter“. I ordered it straight away, and it’s sitting in a basket near my bed, but I’m waiting for the weather to turn to read it. Would you believe it was 83 degrees here today? My nephew in Minnesota texted me a picture of him surrounded by snow!
(Minnesota/Alabama – October 21, 2020)
For obvious reasons, we’ve been cooking at home a lot more this year too. Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve ever shared an updated photo of the kitchen since we put the (discontinued) Swiftlock flooring in.
It’s a compact space, but it suits our needs, and I can’t get over how much Steevenson loves to work with food! (I spent VERY little time in the kitchen as a kid.) He’s got his own set of utensils and he always jumps at the chance to use them. We’ve been doing Home Chef meals once or twice a week since quarantine started and he always looks forward to delivery day. He requested and made their Dynamite Shrimp Rice Bowl with Boom Boom Sauce and Crispy Wontons (mostly) by himself a few weeks back and he was SO proud of himself for creating such a “fancy” dish. 🙂 Boy, did I want to try some, but I developed a shellfish allergy a few years back, and Kevin won’t eat anything that comes out of the ocean, so he and I usually stick to their chicken and pork meals, which are incredibly delicious too!
(Chicken teriyaki bowl with bok choy & edamame | Garlic herb goat cheese crusted pork chops with balsamic glazed broccoli)
Anywho, I’ve mentioned Home Chef’s here before, but I’ve got a new discount code if you want to give it a whirl at a lower rate. In a nutshell, they offer 20 new recipes each week (with seasonal favorites like butternut squash, chowders, creamy pastas, etc.) and you can schedule deliveries on whichever days you want. Just use code LAYLA80 at checkout to save $20 off your first 4 boxes. Their meats and seafood is top notch, and their veggies are always perfectly fresh too. It’s been great having restaurant-quality meals at home…because, you know, I’ve always been a little bit allergic to the kitchen too. 😉
a wonderful book to read is THE WEIGHT OF INK by Rachel Kadish! amazing!
Ooh! I’ll add it to my list, Sarita! Thank you for the recommendation!
Thanks Layla for all the movie recommendations! I’ve enjoyed quite a few of these and if you liked Pride and Prejudice, you would love the BBC’s version with Colin Firth, it’s one I watch every year. A while ago you did a book recommendation blog and introduced me to Kate Morton. She is a fantastic story teller and I’ve since read everything she has written. Thank you for this blog post, I follow you on IG as well, but look forward to this too.
Hi Layla, I am so glad you are back posting. What platform do you watch your movies on (Netflix, Amazon, rental…). I have netflix, prime and hulu and wondered if you use any of those to watch your movies. You always have such great suggestions. Thank you. ~Kim
Thanks, Kim! And I watch them wherever my smart TV finds them. Amazon, Netflix, Vudu, Starz, HBO…the list goes on and on! 😀
Do you have a library near you? You should consider using that instead of purchasing books!
Yes we do (and my mom gets all hers there) but I, personally, am loving the process of building my *own* library here at home right now. 🥰
I was a bit late in discovering NBC’s tv show American Dreams & bought the season 1 dvds off of Amazon to watch. I wish season 2 was available, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. It’s fun to see American Bandstand again & the clothing styles & of course all the issues of 1963 & 64 are there, too– so I had to grab my tissues when JFK died. I too enjoyed Victoria on Masterpiece, Miss Potter, Kate & Leopold, You Got Mail- all on dvds. Enjoy your week Layla!! Can’t wait to hear more about your upcoming book !!
I recommend Peanutbutter Falcon on Netflix.
I found you and began following you at the time you started your adoption journey with
So glad you are back!
Thank you, Carolyn! And I can’t tell you how many people have recommended that movie. I’m officially moving it to the top of my list! 😀
Diana Young Hall
Hi Layla! I too LOVE Susan Branch and scooped up her new book. I’m also waiting just a bit to read it. If you haven’t seen Hope Floats, I would highly recommend. Tissues needed.
Thanks for starting your blog posts back up. Have a great weekend! 💙
Please, you’ve got to read “I Capture the Castle,” and then you can even watch the movie! Unless you don’t love England, the countryside, castles, or plucky female narrators. 😉
If you like watching a TV series, I highly recommend Hart of Dixie on Netflix. We just got done watching all 4 seasons, and I was so sad to see it end. It’s one of my favorite shows ever. If you watched the Gilmore Girls, you may recognize some of the outdoor sets used in HOD too.
Thanks for all these recommendations! I feel like you are “our” guide to all things good! It’s gotta take a bit of effort to share the beautiful and fun way you do! I’m grateful 💛
I know this is a late comment but I have to say that I love that you recommended Austenland! Such a fun and clever movie that doesn’t get enough credit. It’s one of my all time favorites along with Young Victoria and the BBC Pride and Predjudice. You and Kevin should also watch Clue together if you never have! Glad to hear y’all are doing ok on your side of the neighborhood.