What I'm Into: November 2013 edition + Pinterest to Real Life resurrection time

Sky's on fire for our last night at the beach. Linking up with Leigh again to share all that I've been into over the last month. There are a bunch of affiliate links in here, and I just want to take a moment to thank those of you have clicked through any of my links. Every little bit that I bring in from affiliate links is a real blessing to our family.

Read & Reading

So apparently I only finished one book this month! But have been making progress in others, so I'll cut myself some slack. But the one I did finish as a really sweet one...

Aloha RoseAloha Rose ~ I was drawn to this book right away because of its setting. Hawaii! Yes, please! The descriptions didn't disappoint and it was a lovely little literary vacation just as things were really cooling off in real life. Thanks to my mom and my mother-in-law both being avid quilters, I must say I have an affinity for a story built around lovely quilt as well. Hawaiian quilting has always intrigued me and I loved the bits of tradition and history woven into this sweet love story.

Sometimes I love Christian romance novels and other times they seem cheesy or superficial to me. This story didn't disappoint, in that while the spiritual aspect was overt, it was raw and real and we really got to see the characters grow into a more complete understanding of the gospel alongside their love story.

Aloha Rose is a well-written, entertaining read and would make a great beach companion as well as a virtual winter escape. For more information about the storyline and the series, visit the Quilts of Love website. {Thanks to Litfuse for providing this book to review.}

Currently: I keep track of these books in progress on GoodReads. Usually I'm switching back and forth between Pride and Prejudice (for the book club of course!) and the first James Potter book, but I've got some other ones underway as well.

Read-Alouds: Felicity & Samantha books, and we've also got our Christmas books out which we all love! We keep them under the tree for the season; here are a few of our favorites: The Greatest Shepherd of All, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving,  and the advent book we've been enjoying, Charlie & Noel.

Untitled

Watching

TV: Parenthood, Amazing Race, Emma Approved and Hart of Dixie.

Movies: Date night scheduled for Catching Fire next week! I haven't seen any other newer movies lately but I'm delighted to get back to the cheesy made-for-TV Christmas movies- I love those (call it a guilty pleasure if you will). I think my favorite one so far is 12 Dates of Christmas (you can't go wrong with Zach Morris). And of course, we've been enjoying all of our Christmas favorites-- Home Alone, Christmas Vacation, The Holiday, White Christmas, and Four Christmases to name a few (David loves to watch The Christmas Story and Elf, too.).

Listening

My Christmas 2013 playlist is my go-to dumping ground for any album I come across that I want to keep in my repertoire. It's a random mix including the Good Lovelies (who I found last year actually), Austin Stone, and a few others. I'm adding more each day to that one.

I just started listening to Kat Lee's new How They Blog podcast and I can already tell that it is fantastic. Very encouraging and inspiring for anyone who wants to grow their blog and connect with their readers.

Happy Thanksgiving from the beach! God is good!

Eating

Here's my general weekly meal rotation for dinners these days:

Monday: 1-pot meal Tuesday: Something easy like chicken sausage and veggies or a stir-fry Wednesday: Roast chicken (the only recipe I repeat just about every week) Thursday: soup in the crockpot, with leftovers available to anyone in our community group who arrives hungry Friday: seafood & veggies (or something that didn't get made earlier in the week for whatever reason) Saturday:  brinner! We usually have pancakes for breakfast and then eggs for dinner. Sunday: some kind of meat & veggies, often this is family dinner with grandparents or my brother's family

For Thanksgiving, my dad smokes a turkey (so good!) and then my mom, mother-in-law and I split the other other dishes. This year I made green bean casserole (I love the recipe on the back of the TJ's crunchy onions can) and the amazing brown butter whipped sweet potatoes from Simple Bites. YUM. It was a good meal.

Family photos in action!

Loving

  • the photos my brother took of us over Thanksgiving. Dang, I have cute kids. I'll share those soon.
  • our beloved family tradition of beach camping for Thanksgiving. God went above and beyond with the sunsets this year.
  • collaborating with some awesome ladies for the book club. I can't wait to introduce you to the moderators.
  • Christmas festivities, traditions, trimmings and treats!
  • free tickets to Cirque du Soleil- fabulous!
  • nature walks by the lagoon
  • art with friends
  • the sweet moments with my kids that get me through the really hard ones
  • sweet friends having babies

Pinterest to Real Life

I'm happy to announce that I really, really, really am going to try to resurrect this monthly tradition from Simple Homemade in January. I will try to post right around the 1st of the month recapping the previous month's successes and failures from the inspiration that was pinned. If some of you want to join me, I just bring back the linky for this, too.