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Solo Lisa Reads: November 2020

Round-up of 4 book covers featuring Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams; If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha; Salt by Mark Kurlansky; and A Duke, The Lady, And A Baby by Vanessa Riley

This month I watched a lot of TV (hello, The Queen's Gambit and The Crown season 4) in between barre, work, and the stress of living in 2020. It was hard enough to focus through the brain fog, let alone pick up a book. That's why November's book review round-up only features 4 reads, and for each one, I couldn't help thinking of a corresponding movie or TV show. This post marks my first time making streaming recommendations alongside the mini book reviews—kind of like a pop culture wine-and-cheese pairing. Enjoy!

Solo Lisa Reads: October 2020

Round-up of book covers: The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee, The Marriage Game by Sara Desai, I'll Be The One by Lyla Lee, Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power, With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo, My Summer Of Love And Misfortune by Lindsay Wong, Tools Of Engagement by Tessa Bailey, A Rogue Of One's Own by Evie Dunmore, Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

Without meaning to, I've let almost 3 months go by without doing a book review round-up because I was stressed out of my mind with work. During that time, I've been going to a lot of barre classes (exercise was one of my few healthy stress relievers), ordering a lot of takeout (cooking and meal planning felt overwhelming), and obsessively seeking out nostalgic and/or feel-good pop culture. That meant a Sex and the City rewatch and Baby-Sitters Club reread, as well as as inviting YA novels and romances when I was in the mood for something new. May this reading list bring you a few moments of joy and escape as they did for me.

My At-Home Barre Setup

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa stretches at the Bootykicker portable barre.

This post is for the fellow Bar Method enthusiasts working out at home and trying to figure out an optimal setup! As I mentioned in my last post, I recently upgraded what I use for livestream classes. Before this, I was MacGyvering with whatever I had around the condo: a chair instead of a real barre, throw pillows instead of risers and mini mats, an old yoga mat that wasn't cushy enough for my joints. That was okay for the short term, but over time these improvised solutions didn't support me in trying to get into my best form. I could feel myself holding back (not great for maintaining strength and trying to get stronger), and the limitations of my equipment were starting to create bad muscle memory habits and imbalances. The new gear definitely helped me achieve a more intense burn in tilted seat, a more balanced posture in foldover and arabesque, and a deeper ab contraction in curl work.

Quarantine Life Lately

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa sits on a rock at Chesterman Beach, Tofino, BC, looking out to the ocean. It is a cloudy day.

Looking back at recent posts, I realize that I've done a lot of grumbling about work and being at home 24/7. But hey, life wasn't all bad! I'm grateful that I'm still gainfully employed, my loved ones are healthy, and I can WFH safely during a global pandemic. Plus, there were a few bright spots this summer. Here's a quick look at some highlights that occurred away from the laptop and the Zoom calls.

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