What I'm Into: October 2013

IMG_8266 I've started really looking forward to these posts where I get to spill all the things I'm reading, watching, loving-- it's so fun! I'm pretty glad October is over as far as blogging goes-- freedom to post whatever/whenever feels like a breath of fresh air even though I'm proud of sticking with the 31 days.

And because I don't take myself too seriously, I thought I'd share this with you:

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 9.55.35 PM

So yeah. Sometimes being a grownup is overrated. ;)

Read and Reading:

To-Know-You-Ethridge-e1378961378455To Know You- I finished this book today and it was intense. When I think about writing fiction, the biggest hurdle I always have is allowing bad things to happen to my characters.

To Know You may reveal a story where a lot of bad stuff hits the fan in a lot of ways, but it also shows God's grace along the way. We see sin, consequences but above all His hand working in it all. A novel of many storylines converging, in it we see Julia Whittaker reaching out to the two daughters she placed for adoption over twenty years ago in her desperate attempt to find a liver donor for her dying son (you can read the full synopsis here).  The authors did a really good job of switching points of view (which allowed for great character development and specifying when events were happening. I usually lean towards "happier" books but I'm really glad I read this one. When it ended it just felt like one more tale of God's sovereignty and how he brings beauty from ashes (love that).

SnowTulips-e1378875337964Snow on the Tulips- A novel set in the Netherlands, occupied by the Nazis at the end of WWII, this is one of those romance novels that keeps you on your toes throughout its entirety because of the gravity of the situation.

What I really loved was that the story of Cornelia, Gerrit and Johan is based on actual events that happened at the end of the war.

It's a story of overcoming fear and obstacles to do the right thing, hearing and following God's calling, and the strong love forged under the most difficult of circumstances along the way. Read more about the book here.

DearMrKnightley-252x380Dear Mr. Knightly- Let me just say that I started this book casually and then ended up staying up till 2am to finish it on the same day. I just had to. I really loved this book-- it's clever Jane-isms and other literary references throughout caught my attention and the character development was wonderful as was the creative premise.

The book is written in epistolary form (which I love) and without giving away too much of the plot, I'll just say it had a You've Got Mail feel to it in a sense. But it wasn't just light-hearted. The heroine, Sam, is on a journey of becoming herself as a woman and a writer and also figuring out how God fits into the picture as well. What I loved about this book is that her spiritual journey is very real and raw, and not something that can just be tied up nicely with a bow. Of course, there's a love story in there, too. And isn't the cover pretty, too? This is one I would read again for sure.

Thank you to Litfuse for the review copies of the books mentioned above.

A Homemade Life- I'm so bummed that this is a library book because I really want to keep it for the recipes. The memoir was very entertaining (Molly is such a great writer) as well, but the food she wrote about had me drooling. It's now officially on my wish list, because it's a definite keeper.

The Princess Diaries 9 & 10 (Princess Mia and Forever Princess)- I started this series probably ten years ago and randomly decided to request the last 2 books at the library after reading Meg Cabot's moving 9/11 post this year. I've always loved her writing and reading the end of the story of Mia Thermopolis transforming from self-professed geek to self-acutalized princess was very entertaining, and a fun little break from more serious or grown-up stories.

You can view this page to see what Facebook parties and giveaways are going on this month for the Litfuse books I read.

Read-Alouds--

Gigi and I have been enjoying the American Girl books. I've read her the first and second Samantha books and the first Felicity book. She loves them! Great history lessons there, too. We also read a Magic Tree House book-- those are always fun.

Watching:

TV--

We're behind, but still loving Parenthood (of course), Amazing Race, and Revolution (we just finished season 1 and the ending was great-- very JJ Abrams-ish). We finally finished Arrested Development and now that we've seen the whole thing, I have to say, I preferred the original 3 seasons, however season 4 grew on me. It got funny as it went along and you sort of got what they were doing with it. I hope that wasn't the end. I just love those characters.

I've heard of people bootlegging Downton Abbey but I'm holding out. We have too much on our plate-- er, screen-- as it is and it feels like the perfect curl-up-with-a-cuppa-tea winter show to me, too. When David is otherwise occupied, I indulge in Hart of Dixie (season 2 on Netflix).

Does YouTube count as TV? After thoroughly enjoying The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I moved on to Welcome to Sanditon, which was cute, but didn't grab me quite as much (and the fan videos were annoying), and now I'm watching Emma Approved, which is shaping up to be very cute, just wish I didn't have to wait for the next episode each time!

Movies--

Nothing new (too much baseball in October) but I did watch Penelope this weekend, which I totally love (perfect for Halloween weekend) and for David's birthday I bought him Moonrise Kingdom, which we really liked when we rented it a while back. We watched it again this weekend and well, it's just pure genius (except that one weird scene).

We also watched The Hunger Games again last week to prep me for my costume and also to get psyched for Catching Fire, which I really hope we can see in the theatre. Now that baseball is over we definitely have some movies to catch up on (still haven't seen Gatsby!!).

Listening:

Well, I did it. I listened to a Christmas playlist this week. Just one, and it was one that's more holiday-ish than Christmasy if that makes sense. It was nice though.

I've been into Citizens lately and my brother just shared an album with me called talking dreams by Echosmith that I want to listen to more. And well, there was that day last week I listened to Taylor Swift all afternoon, too.

Two of my favorite Spotify playlists are my worship playlist and my happy playlist.

Things I Love:

Love them! Angelina Ballerina, Fancy Nancy, and a horse!

~eating my kids' candy (insert evil laugh here)

~dressing up

~hanging out with my neighbors, and my CG (and welcoming new peeps)-- our little Halloween shindig was so fun!

~putting sponge rollers in my girls' hair (cuteness overload! Also, cue the Shirley Temple vids on YouTube!)

~beach dinners at sunset

~earlier sunrises (easier to get out of bed!)

~reading on an eReader (especially in bed!)

~our family tradition of my brother's family's Halloweenie party (pumpkin carving + hot dogs, chili & nachos)

~tea time with a sweet friend (and now Brody keeps asking, "Can we have tea with Sarah again today?")

~CrossFit. It's hard but really good. Makes me feel like an athlete again. {fist bump}

~And one thing I don't love: baseball ending and basketball beginning (although it's a good time of year to get in some serious reading time...)

So now the question is, what are you into? 

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh