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It’s the first Monthly Dose of Awesome of 2020, and one of my New Year’s resolutions is to keep up with this feature this year. So without further ado, enjoy this month’s list of what’s bringing me joy and making me feel more like me.

1)The Office stickers

Fact: The Office makes everything better.

Any new planner or notebook is an exciting treat for nerds like me. But add some Office-related stickers? You’ve got a surefire gem that makes me happy to look at my otherwise dreary to-do list.

My husband added these stickers to our recent Amazon order as a little surprise for me, and since then I’ve been finding all sorts of uses for them around the house: On my makeup organizer, in my planner, on my water bottle, whatever. They just make me smile when I need a little boost in my day.

2) British real estate competition shows

I’ve fallen down a Netflix rabbit hole of the oddly specific category of British real estate programs. Seriously, folks, who knew I’d find this niche so fascinating? I think after last year’s home buying journey, I needed a break from the whiny wives and obtuse “man cave” seeking husbands of HGTV shows. (This is not my stereotype, but rather a commentary on the obnoxious gender roles HGTV has put in place in most of its programs.) Enter shows like Great Interior Design Challenge and the similarly titled Interior Design Masters.

What I like most about these programs (other than the accents) are the mini British history lessons. I’ve been out of college for over a decade now, and I miss getting a little dose of British or European history every now and then. Oh, and I also love the slightly different terms in the UK compared with the US (i.e. Hoover instead of vacuum or splashback instead of backsplash). If you are looking for a relaxing, good natured “reality competition” where everyone pretty much gets along, everything is predictable, and the biggest drama is the wrong texture of wallpaper being hung, then these two shows are for you.

3) 2020 reading challenges

A new year means a new opportunity to participate in reading challenges. This year, I’ll be participating in two – Modern Mrs. Darcy and Popsugar. Last year, I completed both challenges, with the exception of the “Reread a favorite book” category in Popsugar.

Each challenge gives a specific categories or prompts, rather than specific books, to read. Examples include “a book in translation”, “a book published before you were born” or “a book in a genre outside your comfort zone”. The Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge has 12 categories; Popsugar has 50. I’ve already read 10 books on the 2020 Popsugar list and one on the Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge. (I started in December because I couldn’t wait!) Highlights have included The Other Windsor Girl, a fictional look at the life of Princess Margaret (perfect for reading after watching the latest season of The Crown) and Catch and Kill. (Note: Trigger warnings abound in the latter book. I found it was best to read in smaller doses, and still found myself having to skim or skip a few sections.)

I’d love to hear more of what you are reading this year! Let me know in comments, on Facebook or on Instagram.

Just a reminder: I have not been compensated to review any of these products. That being said, there are Amazon affiliate links in the above post. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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