Super Mom’s Favorite Things Volume 3

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It’s the beginning of another month, so you know what that means. Time to share my monthly favorites!

Favorite Book

Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of True Crime (you can probably tell by my favorites posts). I recently started looking for books in the true crime genre and was excited to have found Long Way Home by Laura Caldwell. This book had me feeling both incredibly disappointed and gave me hope at the same time. Not disappointed in the book, but in the justice system to allow such an injustice to happen to this young man, Jovan Mosley, who told them over and over again that he had no part in a crime (especially since they had no evidence against him). I felt hope that there may be more people like Catherine O’Daniel and Laura Caldwell, who are willing to help the wrongfully convicted, out of the kindness of their hearts.

Long Way Home by Laura Caldwell

Long Way Home by Laura Caldwell

Nineteen-year-old Jovan Mosley, a good kid from one of Chicago’s very bad neighborhoods, was coerced into confessing to a crime he didn’t commit. Charged with murder, he spent five years and eight months in a prison for violent criminals. Without a trial.

Jovan grew up on the rough streets of Chicago’s Southeast Side. With one brother dead of HIV complications, another in jail for arson and murder, and most kids his age in gangs, Jovan struggled to be different. Until his arrest, he was. He excelled in school, dreamed of being a lawyer, and had been accepted to Ohio State. Then on August 6, 1999, Jovan witnessed a fight that would result in a man’s death. Six months later, he was arrested, cruelly questioned, and forced into a confession. Sent to a holding jail for violent criminals, he tried ceaselessly to get a trial so he could argue his case. He studied what casework he could, rigorously questioning his public defenders. But time after time his case was shoved aside. Amiable, bright, and peaceable, he struggled to stay alive in prison. As the years ground on, he’d begun to lose hope when, by chance, he met Catharine O’Daniel, a successful criminal defense lawyer. Although nearly all cases with a signed confession result in a conviction, she was so moved by him, and so convinced of his innocence, that Cathy accepted Jovan as her first pro bono client. Cathy asked Laura Caldwell to join her and together they battled for Jovan’s exoneration. Here is Laura’s firsthand account of their remarkable journey. This is a harrowing true story about justice, friendship, failure, and success. A breakdown of the justice system sent a nice kid to one of the nation’s nastiest jails for nearly six years without a trial. It would take a triumph of human kindness, ingenuity, and legal jousting to give Jovan even a fighting chance.Deeply affecting, Long Way Home is a remarkable story of how change can happen even in a flawed system and of how friendship can emanate from the most unexpected places.

Favorite Movie

I was seriously considering skipping this category this month, because honestly, I hadn’t watched anything that was worth sharing. But a few nights ago, I stumbled upon a documentary that was so eye opening, it needs to be seen by so many!

One Child Nation

After becoming a mother, a filmmaker uncovers the untold history of China’s one-child policy and the generations of parents and children forever shaped by this social experiment. In this 2019 Sundance U.S. Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary, One Child Nation, Chinese-born filmmakers Nanfu Wang (Hooligan Sparrow) and Jialing Zhang expose the devastating consequences of China’s One-Child Policy through the stories of those who lived through it.

Favorite Series

YOU is back in it’s 2nd season! This dark and suspenseful Netflix series keeps you wanting more. If you haven’t seen season 1, add it to your must-binge list! Season 2 is back and even better! I finished the entire season in 1 day. It’s THAT good!

You season two photo

YOU

You is an American psychological thriller television series developed by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble. The first season is based on the 2014 novel by Caroline Kepnes and follows Joe Goldberg, a New York bookstore manager and serial killer (Penn Badgley) who falls in love with a customer named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail) and quickly develops an extreme, toxic and delusional obsession. 

Favorite Podcast

Are you also a true crime fan? I had never heard this particular story until I started In the Dark, Season 2. I can tell you that once you hear it, you’ll never be the same. I’m checking it constantly, as they are still putting up new episodes. It’s an insane story and proves that when it comes to our justice system, we still have a long way to go!

In the Dark Podcast cover art

In the Dark, Season 2

Curtis Flowers has been tried six times for the same crime. For more than 20 years, Flowers has maintained his innocence. He’s won appeal after appeal, but every time, the prosecutor just tries the case again. What does the evidence reveal? And why does the justice system ignore the prosecutor’s record and keep Flowers on death row?

Favorite New Find

Ok… here’s the story. Super Dad and I were waiting in line at Homegoods and were headed to the school to pick up the girls. He grabbed a bag of Artisan Tropic Cassava Strips and said he wanted to bring a snack for the girls. We wound up opening them as soon as we got into the car because we were starving. I took one, just to taste and WOW! Before we knew it, the entire bag was GONE. Nothing left for the girls. Oops!

PILOT FriXion Erasable, Refillable & Retractable Gel Ink Pens

Most of you know that I can’t function without my Erin Condren Planner. It holds all of my work and personal to-do’s for the day. But… things change when you have kids and you can’t always get things done exactly when you want to, so writing things down in permanent ink and then crossing it out can make a crazy mess in my beautiful planner and I’m not about any of that.

Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens

Someone introduced me to these Pilot Frixion Clicker Erasable Pens and I fell in love! They write so smoothly and come in a variety of colors. And if I can’t get to something, or I write it on the wrong day, I can ERASE it so easily! I have purchased at least 3-4 sets of these over the years, only because they tend to grow legs and walk out of my office. If you don’t have tiny hands (or husband hands) who like to steal your pens, you can refill them too, which saves money! They are also great for your older kids who need pens for school. I highly recommend them!

Well, that’s it. My current favorite things. What did you think? Is there another category you’d like me to add next month?

My monthly series where I share my favorite things to read, watch, listen to and try! Here are my January favorites.

*While this is not a sponsored post, it does contain affiliate links. If you click on those links and purchase something, we may be compensated. We appreciate the support!

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. Hi, Heather! Thanks for your kind comments about the Jovan Mosley case. I am Catharine O’Daniel, the lawyer who tried the case. Jovan remains a dear friend and his case will always hold a very special place in my heart. I regret to advise you that just a few weeks after you wrote your piece, Laura Caldwell, the author of Long Way Home and a dear friend of mine for the past 25 years, passed away after a years-long battle with cancer. I still think about Laura every single day and miss her wit and infectious laugh terribly. On her behalf, I wish to extend our deepest thanks to you for reading our story and for your comments above. Although the experience definitely highlighted a systemwide failure that caused Jovan to wait so long for his day in court, it also represents an example of the system working, albeit heartbreakingly belatedly. Again, many thanks and best of luck to you!

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      Hi Catharine! I’m so sorry to hear of Laura’s passing. She had an incredible talent. Long Way Home is still one of my favorites and I’ve recommended it to so many people. Thank you for all the work that you have done. There should be more lawyers out there, like you, who are willing to fight for those like Jovan Mosley.

  2. Totally loving this curated list of yours! How awesome. Can we just talk about how epic those gel pens look?! I’m a sucker for pens and these ones look fantastic.

  3. When I first started watching season 2 of You I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as the first. But by episode 3 I was hooked! It’s such a great show and I can’t wait to see where they go with it next 🙂

    Louise x

  4. As a mother I want to see One Child Nation and appreciate your recommendations. I need to add this book to my reading list!

  5. I am so interested to watch that documentary One Child Nation. I have known about this, but to view a documentary with real people sharing their experience is a must-watch for me.

  6. We’re obsessed with YOU! We flew the second season. I’m going to have to check out that documentary!

  7. I will have to check out your Netflix recommendations. I am always on the hunt for binge worthy series.

  8. Loving your favourite things this month! I personally am intrigued by China’s one child policy so would love to watch One Child Nation and see the story behind it. Will check if the movie is available in the UK.

  9. I like your Favorite Things list. The book looks perfect for my wife, and we would enjoy One Child Nation.

  10. You got me very interested with the One Child documentary and I’ve just recently started with YOU – such a cool series (but I’m watching season 1 for now)!

  11. I’m definitely going to search for these ink pens! I have listed to your favorite podcast before, my sister introduced me to it! It is a good one, I need to go and listen to more of them!

  12. I had not heard of the book or movie! However, they sound great, I can’t wait to check them out!!

  13. I’m obsessed with Pilot Frixion pens. I started using them in my planner last year and I love them. This year, I bought a Rocketbook notebook as well and that may be my new favorite thing!

  14. Omg YOU is so good! I was not expecting that ending like at all!!! It was THAT good, I binged it in a day lol!!!

  15. I haven’t seen You yet but it’s on my list. I remember hearing about the one child policy years ago. I’ll have to watch One Child Nation.

  16. YOU is such a good show! I went back watched season 1 all over again. I can’t wait to read the books!

  17. I had a look at One Child Nation as some of my friends are from China and had only one child. However, China knows about their aging population issue now and young parents can have 2 children since the new law.

  18. I recently discovered the Pilot Frixion, too! So nice to find an erasable pen with a good impression and complete erasure.

  19. I will have to check on the podcast. I’m a crime nut, have always got some kind of crime or suspense novel going. And those pens look very cool. I’m kind of a nut on different kinds of pens and pencils, especially ones that are easy to write with like pilot pens always are. Thanks for sharing.

  20. I’ll check some of these out. I keep hearing about You but haven’t watched yet. I’m intrigued, so I probably will soon! Right now I’m finishing The Mandalorian.

  21. I love Netflix You! I just started rewatching season 1 so I could be prepared for season 2. the episodes are so long and make binging at night a little hard.

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  22. Those are some pretty awesome things. I wasn’t familiar with any of them except “You” although I haven’t seen it yet, I might just start watching it.

  23. Having grown up in Chicago, this book is one that I would select. It sounds like a good story

  24. One Child Nation sounds like a great documentary. I will look for it on Youtube tonight when I get off work.

  25. Interesting list! This is great to have handy when I don’t know what to read next. There are so many books and options that it’s nice to read the detailed information of what you liked.