What I’m Into – May

Where did May go? Didn’t the month just start? It was a pretty good month and as usual, I’m sad to see it go. June will bring with it more summer goodness. Here’s some things I was into this month. Connecting with the lovely Leigh (check out my favorite post of her’s this month. Made me want to hit the road and head to Nashville stat) and the What I’m Into link-up.

What I’m Reading:
Last month I read a lot of books that didn’t connect with me. Some weren’t great or were good but generally just weren’t my thing. I looked at my goodreads ratings for last month. It was all threes and fours. Suddenly I understood why I felt a little burnt out. At the beginning of May, I accidentally devoured a book that I fell in love with. That’s when I remembered why reading books you’re passionate about is so important. It reminds me why I love to read in the first place.

-Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed (5/5). An anthology of notes from the Dear Sugar column Cheryl used to write for the website The Rumpus. I loved this book. It spoke to my soul and freed me. I know this book and her advice are not for everyone. But I found the questions and the answers immensely freeing & good for my soul. I love how much of her own stories Cheryl (as Sugar) included in her responses.
-Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (4/5). I love this series of books by Steph.This particular volume in the series wasn’t my favorite. I definitely preferred Isla’s story (which comes after Lola’s). It was a little tropey and very teenage protagonist. That said, it was a (mostly) light and cute read for me, which is what I wanted.
-Find the Good by Heather Lende (5/5). I picked this up on a whim from the popular reads section of the library and loved it. A short collections of essays on life and death from an obit writer in Alaska. These stories were good for my soul.
-Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson (2/5). The back cover sounded interesting: destiny brings a man and woman together as they’re held up at a gas station. But between the characters (both very wounded and unstable) and the unclear flashing between past and present, I couldn’t take it. Halfway through the novel, I nearly gave up because I couldn’t find myself rooting for either of the main characters. I pushed through but still, didn’t like it. Nothing hurts my heart like being disappointed in a book. Sometimes it’s just not a good match for you.
-In the Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (5/5). This book took me by surprise in the best way. Rory, a Louisiana native, comes to boarding school outside of London when a Jack the Ripper imitator is beginning to strike. I’d hesitated at picking this up before but I’m so glad I did. The story picks up about 1/4 of the way in and it’s hard to put down! I requested books two and three…three came first and I haven’t been able to pick up book two yet! Excited to start book two next week.

This month I hit my preliminary reading goal of 50 books! Woohoo! I moved my goodreads challenge up to 75 books. I’d like to read more than that but since I’m not sure what the rest of the year will bring me, I’m going easy on the number. Currently I’ve read 55 books for the year.

On the to-read stack: If You find this Letter by Hannah Brencher, The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker and If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski.

Audience participation: I have a question for you. What does it take for you to not finish a book? Is there a page limit? Do you push on through and just finish? Is there certain content that will make you stop? I’m curious about what you think.

What I’m Listening to:
-Mumford and Sons, Wilder Mind. Yes and please. Don’t get me wrong I miss those banjos like whoa. But their lyrics still connect to my soul.
-Jon Foreman, Caroline. I think I’m really going to enjoy his next musical series The Wonderlands.
-Joy Williams, Until the Levee and What a Good Woman Does. Joy is bringing the soul stirring lyrics to her debut. If I can’t have my beloved Civil Wars back, this is the best runner up.

What Podcasts I’m Listening to:
-Joy the Baker podcast.
-Dear Sugar. Always and forever. The episode about friendship this month nearly brought me to tears. I love the Sugars.

What I’m Watching:
-Once Upon a Time. Alternate Universe (AU) storyline? Yes. I loved this episode so much. I had a feeling I’d enjoy the AU, but not as much as I did. I’d watch a mini-series of these characters in the AU realm. Of course I’m still feeling the ending (that’s as much of a spoiler as I’ll say) and I don’t know how I’m going to make it til Fall.

Other things I loved this month:
-Early morning walks on the beach during our Mother’s Day trip.
-Catching up conversations with a friend.
-Ordering a box of new books I’m excited to read.
-Finding a gift card in an older box and discovering it still had a full balance! That made my box of books order even better.
-Sitting in the new airport cell lot, which is right near one of the runways. Sitting in the car and getting to watch planes take off or land. Dream come true. ❤
-Finding out one of my favorite authors, Allie Brosh, has a new book coming out in October!

-Beachgram. One of those few summery things I got into. But goodness morning walks with your feet in the water are glorious.

beach view

Here’s to a glorious June of warm sun, cool breezes and lots of cool treats. To summer reads and good things, both planned and unexpected.


What I’m Into – July

Linking up with Leigh and so many beautiful others for What I’m Into. This month has been filled to the brim with so much. I’m sad to see it go and yet I’m glad to move on. I spent my last days in the mosqutio filled north with its beauty. I walked (and barely sprinted) my first 5k. We took the long way home over five flights, four planes, hours running through airports and calming down one curious chihuahua. I spent days trying to readjust, especially with my allergies. I was caught up in daily deadlines. But I found the joy in summer. I’ve started to love the cool rains (but not the lightning, hasn’t won me over yet). I said goodbye to my favorite coffee shop, not knowing if it would open its doors again. And happily, an email told me that it will be reopening. This month, I have stretched and grown and ached and smiled.

The thing about spending a lot of time in airports and on airplanes is that you get a lot of time to catch up on your to-read stack! I vary between my kindle app and physical books. Can’t beat some of those kindle deals but I don’t think I’ll ever be over the feeling of a book in my hands, flipping through pages.
-Faith Unraveled by Rachel Held Evans. I’d actually picked up this book before under its former title when I was at school. For whatever reason (deadlines) I didn’t read it. But now I’m so glad I did. I loved what Rachel wrote about faith, asking questions and tradition.
-Speak by Nish Weiseth. I’m going to write a separate review on this book, so stay tuned! I loved this book. If you’re worried that this will be another in the pile of story-related Christian cliches, don’t be. It’s a book for her, for you and for me.
-I Haven’t Been to Vegas but my Luggage Has by Mandy Hale. Y’all, I’m a sucker for a good story about hilarious single women. The world needs more of them sharing their heart and making me laugh. It’s why I love Annie Downs so much (coming soon, a review of her latest book! Which I’m behind on because deadlines). I found this at the bookstore and knew I had to read it. The first half of the book is really strong, as Mandy tells stories of her hilarious hijinks and delves into the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to dating. But the book lost appeal for me during the second half. The tone seemed to change, it wasn’t funny or strictly serious. She talks about starting her platform “The Single Woman” but she used such sparse details, I couldn’t quite grasp the concept. Maybe she’s gone into detail on her own site, I don’t know. I’m not a reader of hers, but I found that too distracting. I was disappointed at the outcome–it felt like the book just couldn’t keep up momentum.
-The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. While we’re on the topic of books and that can’t keep up momentum, I was disappointed with this offering, too. I loved the previous book so much I ordered this on kindle immediately after finishing. But it didn’t quite live up to the previous book for me. I was so eager to read the last letter and it almost didn’t seem worth reading, which makes me really sad. The first book (which I read last month) was great and I’ll be sure to check out more by Maureen (that is, if she doesn’t run me over in her segway this weekend at Leaky).
-Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. This book took me months to read in the best of ways. Since it’s filled with little essays, it’s easy to read a bit, then set down to ponder. I loved the way Glennon writes and speaks honestly about her own life. It’s good humor and I love the way she talks about faith & loving others. I love that this is a book I can continue to pick up and read short pieces of.
-I just started reading a novel from one of my favorite authors that hits stories in September. I’m sure I’ll have lots to say about it next month.
I’m up to thirty books read for the year! Yay! When I first started this challenge, I wasn’t sure I could get to twenty five! It feels good to have made so much progress.

Two of my favorite bands came out with new releases: Anberlin and Colony House. I don’t own either yet. I’ve been listening to a lot of Cities in honor of the new album. I’ve also had the Noah Gunderson and Josh Garrells pandora channels on this month as my study music.

I fell in love with a series called Letters to July by Emily Diana Ruth. It’s amazing. She writes letters to the month of July with the moments she’s savoring, the things she thinks and fear. It’s beautiful. And it’s a collaboration with other youtubers. Here’s the playlist from this year (adult language warning) and from last. I was so inspired, it become a writing prompt on my tumblr. And I think I’ll be reposting some of the content over here next month.

Around the Web-
All Hootenannie, all of the time. Especially this post about how your dream might not be all you thought. But seriously, this gal is hilarious and one of my favorite writers on the internet.
And Hilary Yancey’s post at Lisa-Jo’s place about her relationship with her mother. It made me cry and reminded me so much of the relationship between my own Mom and I. We share a lot of special moments, which I’m so grateful for. I hope we’ll laugh that hard at my own wedding, some day. Hilary is another of my favorite writers.

-We’re getting a book about Lydia Bennet. It’s real. It’s happening. I’m so excited. I fell in love with her thanks to Mary-Kate Wiles performance on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and the spin-off, The Lydia Bennet! I’m really excited to get more of a glimpse into this character.
-I got a gym membership this month. Which means a lot of testing my own limits, introspection and drinking a lot of water. It’s something I’m glad to do and keep up with, but I don’t feel the progress yet.
-I’ve had deadlines every day this month until the 28th. What was packed in those deadlines nearly killed me towards the end. So now I’m reveling in this time I get to rest. It’s not something I loved but I was sure into it. 😀
-I’m always into breakfasts or brunches at Fresh Markets.
-Conversations with friends that remind me how lucky I am to have them. I’ve had several of those this month and it’s a joy. ❤
-Surprise presents in the mail.
-Oversized, cozy sweatshirts.


Two favorites this month: A study in contrasts or Florida. Every day. Like clockwork.

And I like airplanes and good shots.

August, I’m excited to say hello to you, friend. It’ll bring new excitement and new challenges. Tomorrow, I’m attending my very first convention! I’m a huge bundle of excitement and nerves. Friends have been so generous to give me tips and I’m hoping I’m prepared. I’m also hoping not to make a fool of myself when I meet my favorite actors and fandom friends. Soon after, a roadtrip adventure and seeing a dear friend. Then home and more dear friends. I hope August brings you joy and laughter. A relief of cool air or the warmth of the sun, depending on your preference. 😉 And I hope you have amazing adventures this month. Thanks to Leigh for hosting this awesome link-up. And check out her page if you haven’t.

What I’m Into – June

Hey everyone! This is going to be an abbreviated post. I’m away on vacation staying with my Grandparents in cool paradise. Well, except for the bugs. What I’m into June: anything that will kill the bugs before they bite me! And wifi. Because I’ve no phone service up here. YUUUUUUP. But I love the link-up with Leigh so much, I couldn’t bare to skip it. (Be sure to check out the link up, there’s a bunch of awesome people posting there)


Tables in the Wilderness by Preston Yancey – I got an advanced copy through net galley. I’ll be posting a review closer to the release date. I loved this book, I could hardly put it down!

Let’s All Be Brave by Annie Downs – Working on my review to post soon. But goodness do I love Annie and her stories. ❤

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson – This was recommended at the end of a Blimey Cow video by Kelli, so I thought I’d pick it up for the road. I’d never read anything of Johnson’s, besides her amazing twitter feed. I really liked this book. It was a neat adventure story.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick – If you’ve read around here long enough (or followed me on twitter), you’ll know that I’m still in love with the webseries The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It was a modern day adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, done extremely well as a vlog series. Now, they’ve adapted the book, telling a few stories that couldn’t be told by vlog format. It did not disappoint! Even better: Ashley Clements, who played Lizzie, reads the audiobook and does all the costume theater voices for other characters. I’m so glad they published this book and still am anxious for a story from Lydia’s point of view.

Currently reading but not finished – Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor, I’ve Never Been to Vegas but My Luggage Has by Mandy Hale, Finding Faith by Rachel Held Evans and The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson.


I’ve been listening to The Lover’s Song after this video. I downloaded Ledges by Noah Gunderson. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Anberlin. And I found a live album from Josh Garrels, which I’m in love with.

What I’m Into – Random:
-White Chocolate Raspberry scones
-Italian Cream Sodas, I think Raspberry is my favorite. Unintentional themes! Yay!
-Catching up on Nick at Nite since my cabin has cable.
-Boy Meets World and the pilot of Girl Meets World. You know, Girl wasn’t my favorite. But it reminded me so much of Boy Meets World, I found myself rooting for it.
-Burgers with fried onions from the grill.
-curly fries and waffle fries (vacation? working out? 5k in two days? oops.)
-the TFioS movie. I had to wait a few days to see it, right before I left town, but I loved it so much. It stayed true to the book and the spirit of the book. I cried. But in a good way. Once I’m home, I’m going to go see it again.
-wearing my chucks again, since the weather is cool.
-hitting the halfway mark on my reading goal for the year. WOOHOO! 25 books down, 25 (or more?) to go.


I couldn’t pick just one this month. The first is the view from here. The second is the local library. It’s tiny but it’s beautiful.

the view from here


Well, that’s all til next month, y’all. I hope July brings you beautiful things and that we can all beat the heat. I’m always looking for book recommendations, so if you have some, please leave them in comments.

What I’m Into May

The month of May just seemed to fly by. It was a month of new brave things, of big scary and of summer thunderstorms. May marked a year since I left Virginia, which was a sad anniversary. I’ve been without my beloved mountains for a year. But I had plenty of activity to distract me. I celebrated, from far away, seeing friends graduate. I sat with my dog Gracie as she recovered (more on that later in this post). And I spent time with family.

I’m sad to say that my reading has slipped this month. *hangs head* I’ve been reading other things (like blogs and a textbook), so my pleasure reading has slipped.

-The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher. I originally read this book when it was published back in 2009. While I did like it overall, I wasn’t expecting the memoir tone, so I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Rereading it, I loved it. It felt more applicable to the older me. I could connect with her stories and appreciate how she was communicating. I give it 4/5.

-Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. I’m about halfway through this book, which I’ve been reading all month. I wasn’t expecting it to be little mini-essays when I started and I find it is a book I need to soak up slowly. It happens (and this is why I have so many books on my to-read list on goodreads). Nonetheless, I am loving it.

I already have some really good books on my to-read stack for June (including a couple ARCs that I will be reviewing in the future!). Towards the end of June, the book I’ve been anticipating for a year is coming out, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet.

Season finales were on point. I loved the Once Upon A Time finale (that ending!), Revenge and The Middle finale. I’ve started to watch House on netflix and I’m really enjoying it.

-Coldplay. Always and forever.
-Colony House has a new single out. It’s really catchy and I could not stop replaying.

Stuff I just can’t get enough of this month:
-I’ve been a huge fan of Annie’s words for…a long time now. This post hit me on a heart level. I love how she connects with humor and reality.
-I got a pair of Toms this month and I’m in love. If I had known I’d love these shoes so much, I would have gotten them long ago. The price had always kept me away but my goodness, they are comfy. I got my pair from Whole Foods, the design has paint splatters in the fabric and it’s so cute!  that particular pair isn’t on the website but here are two pairs I love here and here (the second is just as colorful).
-I got a tank like this and I wore it all summer long. It’s beyond comfortable and it supports one of my favorite organizations, To Write Love on Her Arms.
-Lexie wrote a post on vulnerability and I wondered how she knew so much about my life. Her words were so true and needed. I love her blog and it’s a must read.
-My favorite new series this month is The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, a modern take on Peter Pan.
-There was a surprise Lizzie Bennet bonus video. I may have been stunned to silence when I got the twitter notification. I then proceeded to watch it and text everyone of my friends and then watch it again. Seeing Ashley on screen as Lizzie makes me so happy. I can’t get enough. I’m anxious for video two with Darcy.
-This post from Sarah about made me cry. It’s part of a series, which I haven’t finished watching but I’ll bet is incredible.
-And finally a print from the ever-creative, awesome Messy Canvas which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “You’re only a minor character if you choose to be.”


My pup had a rough month. We found a tumor and so she had surgery to have it removed. There was more than one and it’s likely cancerous. She’s a tough girl at 16 years and if she remains tumorless, she’ll likely be around til 20. But for most of this month, she was dealing with her stitches and had to wear the cone of shame. She’s resilient, now happily cone-less and back to her self.


June is setting out to be a crazy-wild month of summer. I’m excited, nervous, anxious and ready. It’s going to be filled with adventures and memories and let’s face it, probably more anxiety than I’d prefer. But I’m ready, kind of. And I know it will be good.

Thank you, Leigh for hosting this link up. Check out her blog and her twitter, she’s quite awesome. If you’re here from the link-up, HI! Thanks for coming. If not, stop by Leigh’s site and check out the other awesome writers.

What I’m Into – February


Welcome to another edition of What I’m Into! Gosh, how has a month already passed? It feels like January just ended. I’m linking up with Leigh, our awesome host.

This month I finished:
Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery
Water Walker eps 1 and 2 by Ted Dekker
Eyes Wide Open by Ted Dekker

I found that some retailers are starting to carry editions of The Fault in our Stars that are autographed, so I now officially own tfios with a purple J scribble. Mine came from Target, it’s pretty affordable and has a bonus dvd to boot. I got an email from books a million that they are carrying autographed copies, too. More to choose from! I highly recommend this book, so if you haven’t read it, now’s a good opportunity.

Water Walker is a new serial series that Ted Dekker is releasing. Each edition is around 79 pages each, making for quick reads. He likens the episodes to tv show episodes. Episode 1 (or book 1) is free on various retailers, so I downloaded it. Now here’s where I give a disclaimer: I have not liked much of Ted’s works for the past several years. I’m a big fan of the man himself (if you ever get a chance to hear him speak, do it, he’s amazing with his passion), but I haven’t been able to get into his writing. I started the book thinking that if I didn’t like it, it was free and it was short, it wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t like it. WELL. The book blew me away, I loved it. Sadly, I did not come away from book two with as enthusiastic of feelings. I’m still going to finish out the series as they are released, but I’m not sure how I’m going to like it as a whole.

I really can’t recommend Jesus Feminist enough or dear Sarah Bessey. She has a sense of grace about her that impresses me. Her book isn’t just for feminists or women, it’s a good read for everyone, no matter your background and stance. The greatest thing I took away from this book was the way that Sarah invited every women to follow her unique God-given calling. I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Noah Gunderson – Ledges. I love this album, I was a fan of his last album Family, too. Favorite songs are Poor Man’s Son and Ledges.

With their reunion announced, I’ve been listening to more Nickel Creek and remembering why I love them so much. I’ve been playing Reason’s Why a good deal, I really like that album.

Sherlock: The third episode solidified it as my favorite of all the series (or seasons, for those of us in the US). There was a great deal of character development and I loved the dynamic that Mary added. Looking forward to series 4 already.
How I Met Your Mother: Last week’s episode felt like older eps, showing off how well this  group works together. I can’t believe it ends this month.
Downton Abbey: I skipped a good bit of the season because of a certain plot point, but caught up on the last three episodes. And because of the ending of the Christmas special, I’m so glad I did.

Jane Eyre: I really like where the series is right now, showing us more of Jane’s character in very subtle ways. As of Feb 28th, the show has been in airing on youtube for a year, yay! And there’s still more story to tell.
The Art Assignment: A new series run by PBS with John and Sarah Green (aka The Yeti, if you’ve ever watched vlogbrothers). It’s a really cool take on art, where they tackle a concept with an artist who’s known for that art. The artist of the week gives an assignment, so the project becomes interactive with the views. I love this series, the art it introduces me to and the John-Sarah banter.
I Didn’t Write This: a series that narrates and visualized poetry and short excerpts. I’m in love! I linked up with my favorite, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
Emma Approved: I’m really glad this series is back from hiatus. The actors who play Emma and Alex (aka Knightley) play their characters so well, I love the chemistry between them. Right now, I don’t love the plot. It feels more like a “based on” story than an adaptation.

On the web:
The Other Side of Donald Miller’s post: Church PTSD – I really loved this post on Scot McKnight’s blog, showing the struggle a family went through in the church. I could relate to the content described and I think it’s a good conversation to have, in the church.

This will become more of a regular thing, but for right now, this is the only post I have to show. I generally tweet and RT posts that really capture my attention, so follow me on twitter for more.

Things I loved:
-I finished up a crafting project (long overdue) and sent it to my friends.
-Watching IF online, my favorite talks came from Sarah Bessey and Christine Caine.
-The Sunday where I got both Girl Scout Cookies and long awaited photos
-Getting prints of those long awaited photos, my dear friend’s wedding and hanging them on my walls
-A really good Valentines Day

yellow flowers
Living up North gave me such a love for trees with blooming flowers. I found this tree on my way to lunch on Friday and fell in love. Spring is coming.

Sorry for my silence on the blog. I wasn’t quite sure what to write about, hence my silence. Lent always seems to bring the words and so I hope to have more writing here soon. I think I’m going to be revising a few writing projects and posting them here, as well.

What I’m Into – January

Welcome to my first What I’m Into linkup! Check out a gilmpse of what I’ve loved this month and feel free to share what you’ve loved in the comments. I hope January has been kind to you and that February brings new joys.

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey. I’m not done with it yet but I love it. I’ve been reading Sarah’s blog for about a year and a half now. Her graceful speech never fails to impress me.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh. I’m a HUGE fan of her blog, so I could not wait to read her book. It made me laugh aloud. And her chapters on depression were poignant and still funny. I’d highly recommend.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I’d had the book on my kindle account for more than a year but never read the book. I’d grown up on the Canadian mini-series, so I knew what to expect. But my kindred spirit was so beautiful in print, too. I’m glad I picked it up and read it.

I have a book challenge on goodreads for 2014, 50 books for the year, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it or not. But it’s fun to try out! Right now, I’ve read six of fifty with three books in [serious] progress. I think I’m going to take up Leigh’s challenge of reading books I own this month.

-Sherlock: I’m so glad the series is back! I’ve missed it so. I really like the character development, too. It’s been two years in canon and real life, and they’re portraying that very well within the characters. I think I might like it now better than I did when it premiered. I’m going to be re-watching soon.
-How I Met Your Mother: I love The Mother so much. I wasn’t sure what to expect but her presence has been a bright spot in this season. How Your Mother Met Me blew me away this week. I’m still not over that rendition of La Vie En Rose.

Not much on the music front this month. I’ve been listening to a lot of old favorites. I need to find some new music.
-The Frozen soundtrack, because of reasons. Let It Go is my power jam.
Colony House has an ep on noisetrade right now. I have one of their older eps (when they were Caleb) and I love it. They have a lot of talent. I highly recommend.

Jane Eyre (for those of you who don’t know, Autobiography of Jane Eyre is a modern adaptation webseries of Jane Eyre. And it’s awesome). This month the team brought it, tackling one of the hardest parts of the storyline. One week brought three episodes (one was a surprise twenty minute ep).
The Fault in our Stars trailer: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. This book is one of my favorites. But every time I get to the part where Gus says, “You can’t choose who you hurt in this world…” I begin to tear up. I’m going to be a hot mess when the movie comes out.

Things I Loved:
-having a nice relaxing birthday with my family
-relaxed fit t-shirts. I got one for Christmas and two from TWLOHA for my birthday. So comfy, so awesome.
-getting surprise gifts in the mail from long distance friends
-falling in love with pumpkin tea
-January is one of my favorite months. I love the newness and refreshing that it always seems to bring me. I’m always sad when it seems to go so quickly. I love my birth-month dearly.

Favorite instagram:
ImageThanks to Leigh for hosting! I’m glad to take part for the first time. Let’s see what February brings me to love. And if next month’s post has its own category for the chocolate I’ve found on clearance. 😀