March 2021 Favorites
Can I get a “Woot Woot” for it finally being Spring?! Here in Virginia the weather is starting to warm up so I’ve been spending a lot more time outside with the kids. All the fresh air and sunshine has me feeling energized. I had a particularly rough bout with my PMDD this month, so anything happy is much needed. I had a lot of help from good books and good TV to help me this month, so here’s a few of my March 2021 Favorites!
Disney+ is slaying with it’s Original series! Obviously, Jesse and I are already huge fans of The Mandalorian and now we’ve added WandaVision to that list. This show was absolutely INCREDIBLE. Each episode follows a specific theme related to classic sitcoms, so we start in the 60s in black and white, and evolves over time. It’s a great look into the backstory of Wanda Maximoff and an exploration of what it truly means to grieve. There’s plenty there for Marvel fans, but overall it’s just a great show.
One thing Disney does so well with Marvel is that every production is inspired by the comics. So while no movie or show follows an exact story line verbatim (which isn’t really possible given the amount of content and alternate story lines in the comics), it keeps fans guessing what they will do next. I love this because it’s a total fan service to the Marvel Comics lovers. Each film, or show, also has Easter eggs from within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as well. Honestly, as a Star Wars fan, I wish this is how they had done Star Wars. One of the biggest disappointments of the new films was that they erased years of Star Wars canon from beloved books and comics. I get wanting to form a new path, but Marvel has demonstrated that a new path can be formed for films and shows without burning down everything that existed before. The Mandalorian has done a little more with gaining inspiration from video games and older stories, but I’d love to see more.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of author Sarah J. Mass. I’ve been raving about her books since I picked up A Court of Thorns and Roses last Spring during quarantine. I read that entire series in a matter of a few days and it rekindled my love for fantasy books. Her book House of Earth and Blood from the Crescent City series is actually one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read. All of this means that I had to read her first series, Throne of Glass, and it certainly did not disappoint. Throne of Glass is a 7 book series, with an 8th book full of novellas, that follows a young female assassin, a prince and a captain of the royal guard. These characters live in a kingdom ruled by a vicious king that someone made magic disappear. The books are filled with plot twists, mystery and romance. I loved this series! I definitely didn’t see many of the plot twists coming and I really enjoyed reading from other characters’ perspectives as the books progressed.
One of the reasons I’ve been reading so many more books lately is thanks to the Libby app. It’s an app that allows me to “check out” digital books from my local library. I can reserve a book, or add myself to a wait list, and when the book is available I receive a notification. Then all I have to do is select “Read with Kindle.” The app opens the Amazon browser so I can download the book to my Kindle. When I’m done reading I go back into Libby and return the book. It’s so easy and has saved me SO much money on buying books. Shout out to Stephanie at The Espresso Edition for introducing me to this app!
I really enjoy a glass of red wine in the evenings. I will typically pour one to enjoy while I’m writing or watching TV. If I’m watching TV, I will also pull an “Olivia Pope” and have a bowl of popcorn (with chocolate chips!) to go with it. Recently, on Instagram, one of my favorite wine bloggers, Alicia Tenise, shared her favorite affordable grocery store red wine, a Malbec from Alamos. I am a big fan of Malbecs because they are a medium-bodied wine with a bit of tannins, but they typically finish very smoothly. This particular bottle is less than $10 and highly awarded and praised, so I picked up a bottle at my local Kroger. Jesse and I both really enjoy this wine, so now we buy a bottle almost every week. It’s an excellent table wine, or a great wine to take to a dinner party.
Raya and the Last Dragon dropped in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere Access on March 5. It’s the story of a young girl on a mission to save the world by finding the last dragon. The movie isn’t a musical Disney tale, similar to Brave, and there is no romantic interest, like in Moana. The movie takes place in a fictional land inspired by Southeast Asian culture and traditions, which is a first for Disney. I found the new perspective refreshing and exciting. The story is also fresh. While there is still an overall mission to “save the world,” the journey to get there and the lessons learned along the way aren’t an overdone Disney trope. Jesse and I screened the movie first and decided that we were okay with the girls watching it. That Sunday we popped some popcorn and snuggled in for a little family movie night. The girls were on the edge of their seats with excitement and the movie was an instant winner. We’ve watched it at least 7 times this month. And now they want Raya toys and clothes to go with it. Raya is available on Disney+ Premiere Access (which is an additional $30 one-time payment) until mid-June when it will be available to anyone with a regular Disney+ subscription. I highly recommend it!
The new house came with a gas range, but there was an issue with the oven. So we basically didn’t have an oven for 5 months. But it was finally replaced with an electric range at the end of February. They even upgraded us to a model with double ovens, so I’m pretty pleased with the switch. The one part of the gas range that I really loved was that it had a griddle-style burner in the center. We make French Toast every Friday and pancakes every weekend, so the griddle was very convenient. However, the new electric range does have the ability to sync two of the burners to create an area that accommodates a griddle pan. I ordered the Two Burner Griddle Pan from Nordic Ware and it has been fabulous. It’s actually bigger than the old griddle was and distributes heat much more evenly. I can make 3 pieces of French Toast or 4 pancakes at the same time! It’s cut down on cook time and is super easy to clean. Definitely a game changer for our kitchen!