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Favorites - May 2017

A quick rundown of some of my current favorite lifestyle products. For my current favorite fashion and beauty products, check out the Bespoke Baroque blog here.

The Aaptive fitness app - After dieting without exercise for the last year and not seeing movement on the scale, I realized I needed to do more. I joined a gym in October, but with so much business travel this year, I was getting frustrated about missing regular workouts. The Aaptive app has been a lifesaver. If you need to see someone guiding the exercises, it's probably not for you, but if you've worked out enough to know the names of the exercises and proper positioning, I highly recommend it. They have workouts for strength training, yoga, meditation, and my favorites the treadmill and walking.

Q Spectacular Mixers Ginger Beer - I love ginger beer, ginger ale's sassier, spicier sister, but I really love extra spicy ginger beer. My favorite used to be Gosling's, but it's hard to find and really, it's more sweet than spicy. Q is made to be a mixer and not a soda, so it's really spicy and not that sweet. I love it and treat myself to one per week.

Marley Spoon - We subscribed to Blue Apron for a long time. We were dedicated. But then the recipes started taking longer and longer to prepare, the prep was overwhelming, and the food, as the teenager put it, was just so "extra." We also had issues with the lack of choices that did not include bell peppers, the one vegetable D will not eat. We recently decided to switch to Marley Spoon, and we think we made the right choice. The prep is simple, the recipes are straightforward and just plain good food, and the number of options is substantial.

White Barn Mahogany Teakwood High Intensity Candle - This is a household favorite. We've been buying the regular version of this candle at Bath & Body Works for years, but right after Christmas, I found this high-intensity version. One candle - entire house; nuff said.

Webster's Pages Composition Planner - If you follow my Instagram, you've seen me posting a lot of pictures lately of my daily planner. I've never had so many people ask me what I was using until I started using this one. I bought this planner on a whim to fill a gap before I started using my next Day Designer. It's a great format and size and who doesn't love an old-fashioned composition book?

The Webster's Pages Composition Gold Heart Day Tracker Notebook composition book even has the cutest gold-foil heart cover, so if you don't spring for the binder, you can use the composition book on it's own and not compromise the look. 


Plan with Me - March 2017 - Kate Spade Pink Personal Planner

I am again using my trusty pink Kate Spade personal planner in this video.

The Kate Spade planners are something of a cult favorite due in part to the difficulty in finding one at this time of the year. Kate Spade releases the new colors usually in the fall, and they sell out quickly. There are always some available on eBay if you have to have one now or are searching for a color from a prior year.


March Reads

Ben Aaronovitch: Foxglove Summer
Dorothy L. Sayers: Five Red Herrings
Tana French: Broken Harbor

My March reads follow my usual preferred category by consisting entirely of mysteries. I'm so late posting these, I considered combining March and April, but then I realized that I did not finish one single book in April! So on to talking about March.

My number of reads in 2016 was miserably low, so I sat down at the beginning of the year and made reading goals for 2017. My main focus is to try and finish one series of classic mysteries, to get caught up completely on one current series, to get back into reading the monthly reads for my online book group as much as possible, and to read one non-fiction book each month. If I can meet my goals, I'll finish four books per month, hence 48 books for 2017. That's much lower than my total was a few years ago, but far more respectable than last year.

So how did I do in March? I finished another in the Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey series for my classic and one from Ben Aaronovitch's wizard detective series for my current series.  The Tana French was a read for my bookclub. So far, so good. But I didn't finish any non-fiction for the month.

Of the three, all were very different, one being Golden Age or traditional, one being a cross between police procedural and fantasy, and the last being pure police procedural, but I did enjoy them all. Broken Harbor's ending left me frustrated, and the novelty of Aaronovitch's series may be running low for me, so I would choose Sayer's Five Red Herrings as my favorite for March.

With these three, I've read 14 books so far this year, which had me ahead of my goal at the end of March. However, with the lack of reading in April, I'm already two behind. I have already finished two books in May, but it may be a stretch to think I'm going to finish another four before the end of the month. Stay tuned for the next update on how I'm doing with my reading goals, but in the meantime, do you set reading goals? If you did for 2017, I'd love to hear what they are. Please add a comment to share below, and we can encourage each other through the rest of the year.


Plan with Me February 2017 - Pink Kate Spade Planner

Products used:
Cocoa Daisy Stickers
Studio Calico Sticky Note
Studio Calico Scrapbook Paper

Color palette inspiration from

It's hard to believe that I filmed this video back in February when it was cold outside, and I couldn't wear enough layers. We will be hitting the high 90s in the desert this week, but thankfully, it's still cooling down at night.

This pink Kate Spade Planner is gorgeous, but to be honest, I don't get enough use out of it. I need the space of an A5 and generally feel cramped in a personal-size planner. I think I also struggle with proportion when I'm decorating in a personal size; although lately I've subscribed to the more is more method of decorating as you can see in this Instagram post.

I'm using our Fall light Bespoke Page Flags in this spread. I truly am so happy with the way they stick to the page and don't curl up like a lot of other decorative page flags and with the way you can write on them. If you've tried them, please leave a comment below to let me know what's your favorite thing about them.