Books, TV, & Movies

January Stories: What I Read and Watched!

Well, darn. Last year, I was doing a decent job of sharing monthly story recaps, both here and on Joyful Miles, but my wheels fell off in September … in so many ways! I really did enjoy those posts, however, so I’m picking back up, even if nobody is reading them. New decade, new me, let’s go!

What I read and watched in January!

Amazon links are affiliate ones. This doesn’t cost you money but does give me a small commission to use toward website expenses.


The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

I’ve been a fan of Gretchen’s podcast for a long time and I enjoyed reading Outer Order, Inner Calm last year, so it’s surprising how I’ve finally got around to reading this book! I always love learning about people’s journeys toward self-improvement and this was the Grand Pooba of happiness journies! I appreciated her honesty and her words inspired me to create my own yearlong happiness journey, focusing on a different aspect of my life each month.

January was Regroup and Renew. February is all about my guy and helping Bob through some stressful situations! The rest I’ll chat about in a future post, but for those seeking more happiness in their lives, I highly recommend this book!

Summer at Firefly Beach by Jenny Hale

Oh boy. I truly admire Jenny Hale and the lovely career she’s made for herself and her writing, but this book was almost a DNF for me. I mean, sure, it could be a light-hearted, breezy summer read, but the main character was just too needy and clingy for me right now, and once she said, “it’s not fair,” I was like nope, checking out. (Starting to read Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins who’s nightmare childhood truly shows what’s not fair didn’t help matters.)

The scenery was truly gorgeous, though, as well as the town’s setting and minor characters.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book.

I simply had to start off my year re-reading this book, (for the fourth time but who’s counting,) because it has truly changed the way I think of fiction writing and creativity. This book has helped me see creativity more as a gift now, a blessing to be embraced and cherished before it’s lost. I have lots more to say in an upcoming review, but one concept Elizabeth shares really hit me right between the eyes:

It’s okay to write an okay book.

It’s okay to write an okay book! Not every manuscript needs to be this dynamic, epic gem. Not every story needs to cure cancer and change lives. It’s okay to write a pleasant, sweet, okay book without worries of book sales or reader reviews or best-selling lists. (And hey, it’s okay to write about a needy character so maybe I need to cut Summer at Firefly Beach some slack!)

Just write a story.

Oh my gosh. I could go on and on about how much I love this book but that’s a topic for another day.


I’m light with movies this month, since much of January was taken up with getting ready for Disney World, my Goofy Challenge vacation, and then recovering/catching up afterward. But I did watch half of:

Brene Brown: The Call to Courage

Several people have told me about this special on Netflix but it’s taken me a while to watch it! Why, I don’t know, because what I’ve seen so far is AMAZING! I so appreciate her honesty and openness and today’s goal is to finish it while running on the treadmill.


Veronica Mars

Okay. One of the most annoying tropes is, “She’s not like other girls.” It’s a boring cliche since not all females in the world are exactly the same with the exact same traits and tendencies lumped into one general, usually feminine category EXCEPT FOR this one girl who’s different because she wears sneakers instead of heels. Snore.

However. Veronica Mars? Yeah. She’s pretty damn unique. I absolutely loved this show back when it first aired, and it’s been fantastic binge-watch material now. Especially since my memory is bad and I can’t remember how most of the episodes end.

Tiny House Hunters

Bob and I started watching this back in October and oh my gosh, talk about must-see-tv! I’m fascinated by the concept of downsizing your belonging in order to fit into a tiny house. Mostly because I’ve been downsizing and minimalizing my own life for better peace and happiness.

Would I ever be able to live with my husband in a 200 square foot house? Um, no. We wouldn’t last a week. But the notion of freedom is so appealing!

Now. It’s your turn!

For those few people who read this blog, (and thank you SO MUCH, btw,) what stories did you enjoy … or not enjoy in January? Please share in the comments below!

Thanks for reading and have a joyful day!

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1 Comment

  1. Will and I seriously considered getting a tiny house a few years ago but ultimately decided it wasn’t for us. Instead, we got a 940 sqft condo which is still pretty tiny compared to the average American house!

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