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5 Things Friday - Books, Sweaters, and Dancing

5 Things Friday - Books, Sweaters, and Dancing

5 Things Friday - Books, Sweaters, and Dancing
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My husband, Adam, and I have a routine in the evenings as we are getting ready for bed we ask each other what we are grateful for that day. It can be something as small as the time Adam remembered to get more of this one kind of salsa I like when I hadn’t realized we were out, or bigger like it was our wedding anniversary. We started this practice at the beginning of 2018 and have kept it up almost every day for the year. This leads me to my introduction of a new series called “5 things…” and this is a weekly round up that included five things I’m enjoying for the week. It can range from another artist, a book, a small moment or source of inspiration, or anything else! So without further ado, I bring you the inaugural post of 5 things Friday!



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1. Educated: A Memoir

I listened to this audiobook this while working and it was beautifully written, compelling, heavy, and inspiring. It is about a woman who grew up in Idaho in a fundamentalist, doomsday prepping Mormon family. She stepping into her first classroom ever at age 17 at BYU. Her family had kept her out of public school because schools were the agents of the government intent on brainwashing her, but they had also failed to adequately homeschool or educate their children in any way besides working in the family businesses. She talks about her experience leaving the family and her small town and gaining an education, eventually a PhD. She talks a lot about memory and how her’s was malleable based on her family’s influence and what she wanted to remember versus what actually happened.


Very hot for October in Charlotte, NC - Amy Readersweater weather finally in Charlotte, NC - Amy Reader

The two photos were outfits worn within the same week - lightweight linen and shorts vs sweater and leggings!

2. Sweater Weather!

It’s finally getting colder! I’m so excited to pull out my long sleeves and wear pants without being uncomfortably hot by midday. It is also slow fashion October and I’ve been documenting my outfit daily in my Instagram stories and talking about when and where I bought the pieces and my own experiences downsizing my wardrobe, but what was most exciting was when I went from several days in a row wearing shorts to pants and long sleeves. Fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler temperatures and changing colors of the leaves (and it’s my birthday month so that helps). Also, the heat just makes me tired and sweaty which I don’t love. I can’t wait to be cozy in sweaters and scarves for the next few months. One perk of being in the South versus my childhood in Chicago, fall lasts for a long time here instead of a short fall and long, frigid winter, and I love it!


 Dance playlist on Spotify by Amy Reader Lalor

Image source: Spotify (the playlist isn't exclusively Janelle Monae, although she is heavily featured) 

3. This playlist

More often than not, I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while I’m working or driving, but sometimes I just need music to get me going. I often have tried the “daily mix” on Spotify but never really enjoyed what they come up with for me. A little while ago, I started this playlist with some of my favorite upbeat songs by female artists that I loved and have added more over the week and it has become my go to  “power through” playlist when I need to get work done. I’m listening to it as I write this. I haven’t gotten tired of it yet and I do in fact dance along on occasion while I’m working and listening to it!



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4. Big Important Art Book (Now with Women!)

I’ve loved Danielle Krysa’s podcast, The Jealous Curator: Art for Your Ear, for a long time. It’s one of my staples in my podcast queue and when she started talking about writing an art book only featuring female artists I could not wait for it to be published! She did not disappoint. The book is beautiful, with stunning images and a wide range of female artists featured. She has prompts at the beginning of each section with projects for you to try (I haven’t tried any yet, but will update when I try some of them). She also has little windows on other artists mixed in with her features. A book only on powerful, female artists was long overdue and I’m so glad it has been published. She has already talked about a volume two and I am here for it and will preorder that one whenever that time comes!



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5. A new planner system

After I quit my full time job, I knew I needed a better planning system and so I immediately returned to the Passion Planner, which I’ve used in the past and had really liked it then. However, I quickly learned at this phase in my life it wasn’t quite meeting my needs. I loved the long term planning and the reflections at the end of the month and having the option to plan my days hour by hour, but it was a bit big and not as flexible. After researching Midori travelers notebooks, I eventually landed on a sort of similar system for myself. I ordered four small notebooks from Mochithings, the MYO planner section. I chose the monthly, weekly, daily, and note spreads to see which ones I liked and what I didn’t. I love and need a monthly overview, but I didn’t want to end up only using the monthly but I also don’t need to plan every single day hour by hour, so this became a great system. I really didn’t need the weekly planner, but I have it anyways. I use the monthly and daily almost every day and the note several times a week. I plan out my monthly overview and then since each book is undated, I only plan out my days when I need to. For example, if I’m spending the whole day working on an install or prepping for Studio Cultivate, I don’t need to plan that out hour by hour. I just need to remember to show up at Studio Cultivate HQ or the install site at a specific time. But if I’m working on exclusively my own work for the day, then I will sit down first thing in the morning and plan that day out hour by hour and set goals for the day. This flexibility means I’m actually using every page of the planner without wasting the days that I didn’t need to plan out hour by hour. Each book is small, thin, and lightweight so they’re easy to toss in my bag and I only bring the ones that I need if I need to bring any at all. It’s really helped hold me accountable for my own time and it has been a system that is working for me, which is all I need from it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this first installment of 5 things! Be sure to tell me in the comments what things you are loving lately!

<3 Amy

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