I think I mentioned this a little while ago, but in case you missed it, I’m changing my Friday Favorites blog series to a monthly favorites series instead. It’s just a lot easier to keep up with this way and I won’t have to worry about missing a week here and here when I’m in my busier season. Anyway, here are a few things I’ve been loving this month. Something I’ve been reading, something I’ve been listening to, and something that has helped get me through this month during a rough time. Without further ado, here are my March favorites:
1. Rice Sock Warm Compress: Who knew that an old sock and some rice could do wonders for an injured back? I certainly didn’t until this past month. Somehow I messed up my lower back a little while ago, and it got gradually worse until I finally caved and went to the doctor, who confirmed my assumption that it was a bad muscle spasm that just wouldn’t go away. She prescribed a combo of muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory meds, light stretching/walking, rest, and warm compress. Which is where this little wonder comes in. All you need for this DIY project (can you even call it a project if it only takes 2 steps?) is an old tube sock and some rice. Fill the sock with rice, not completely stuffed because you want it to still be flexible, but pretty full. And then tie a nice tight knot at the end. Voila! Then all you need to do is stick it in the microwave until it’s hot, but not burning hot. This might take a bit of experimentation depending on how big the sock is, how powerful your microwave is, and how hot you like it. I’ve found 47 seconds to be perfect for me. It seems like such a simple thing, but this little treasure has become my best friend over this past month. When my back was really bad, I would lay on my stomach with this heat pack on my lower back, and now that I can actually sit for a little while without being in a bunch of pain, I heat it up and tuck it against my back while I sit and do computer work. It’s amaaazing! I think this rice pack, along with those wonderful muscle relaxers and good stretches are helping a ton, and I’m not quite 100% yet, but I’m well on my way there, just in time to get ready to photograph some beautiful spring sessions and enjoy the arrival of spring outside!
2. The Magnolia Story - Chip & Joanna Gaines: I mean, who doesn’t love Chip & Jo, right? There’s no need for me to convince you on how awesome they are, and I’m sure everyone has seen at least a little bit of Fixer Upper. Of course, I don’t know how you could stop at just a little bit of Fix Upper, you get a little bit and you keep coming back for more. Their fun-loving and creative personalities are so fun to watch, and their strong values and character make them great role models and quality programming that the whole family can enjoy. I’ve loved Fixer Upper for a long time now, but it wasn’t until just recently that I got around to reading their book, The Magnolia Story. I’m still only half way through it, but I’m absolutely loving it. It’s such an easy read, which is huge for me in this season of being a mom of littles while running my business, and I don’t have hours to sit and dive into lots of deep reading material. This one is so fun to read as it tells of how Chip and Jo met and got together, and how their whole business got started, all told by the two of them in their own words. I’ve found myself laughing out loud so many times at all the crazy stories they share. But in addition to the humor and history of it all, there are also lots of great nuggets of wisdom that are thrown in too, of things that they’ve learned along the way in this crazy journey. If you haven’t read this yet, I highly recommend it!
3. Covers I’m Loving: Since music is such a big piece of my life (there are few moments when there isn’t music of some sort playing in my house), I thought I would share some of my favorites that have been on repeat this month. Sometimes I’ll get in the mood to listen to a certain genre of music, and stick with that for a while, other times I like to turn on my playlist of ALL of my favorites and just hit shuffle. There’s something exciting about being surprised with the next song in my playlist of thousands that is so fun for me. And then there are times, like this month, when I find myself latching onto a few particular playlists and tracks and playing them repeatedly. For some reason, the common theme this month seemed to be cover songs. I found a playlist on Spotify called Folksy Covers, and it’s so good. There’s familiarity because I already know the songs, but also an element of intrigue and surprise because they’re all fun, unique covers of a bunch of classics and a few newer songs. And this is not a quick little playlist either, it’s almost 150 songs, which I appreciate because I’m always a little disappointed when a playlist is over in less than an hour. But that’s just personal preference. As far as specific covers that I’m loving this month, Jennifer Hudson’s: Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight and Tessanne Chin’s: I Have Nothing are some of my best picks. But my top favorite cover this month is: (I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You, which has been covered like a million times, but my favorite versions are the stripped down ukulele version by Twenty One Pilots (look it up on YouTube), that just speaks to my rock band-loving heart, and another awesome version I just discovered by husband and wife duo MountainCity. So if you’re looking for some new music to listen to, go check out these tracks and let me know what you think! I hope you love them as much as I do!