Around the Web

Happy weekend, everyone. We’re enjoying a sunny and warm(er) day, thank goodness. Here are some things I’ve enjoyed from around the web…

Great guide to writing thank you notes…

Listened to my first episode of this touching podcast. On mothers who struggle with motherhood..

Making this Butter Chicken recipe tonight. Mmm…

This sweater has been part of my winter uniform. Confession: I ordered it in 3 colors once it went on sale…

Just started Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar in the World. What an understated and lovely read.

During the snow, I broke out the Koala Crate Campbell received from SB for Christmas. What fun. So cute. I’m tempted to get a subscription.



Reading Updates

Happy Wednesday! We’ve been cooped up since Friday; more on that later. I have some thoughts on what made this snow-go-round easier than previous ones. But it’s a little too fresh. More on this later.

A few new notes on my reading life.

  1. I joined Audible. Yes, after hearing many good things, I joined because I now have a 30-40 minute commute on Metro most weekdays. I like it!  I find myself much less focused on how quickly the minutes are passing and whether my connection will be quick. My first book: Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. Funny and surprisingly cerebral.
  2. Listening to this new podcast: What Should I Read Next? written by author/blogger Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy. On each episode, the host talks with a guest, who tells her a book they love, a book they hate, and what they’re reading now. Anne gives them several suggestions on what to read next. I like hearing them talk about books, why they love/hate them. And more than that, my book to-read list is growing!
  3. Just finished Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey and 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino. I like to read several books at once (got that from you, Dad!), and these were both really good. Reviews–hopefully–to come.
  4. I’ve really enjoyed keeping a book journal, simply a list of books that I read. Even though i get behind sometimes, I love documenting this part of my life.

What are you reading these days?

Long Time, No See

Happy 2016! It’s been a while. But it feels good to be back.

The past few months have been a blur, but they have been full, rewarding, and, as always, exhausting, but in a (mostly) good way. Here’s a short update. My goal is to gather some thoughts for  some future posts.

Reading: Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey and 2 AM at the Cats Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

Watching: The latest seasons of Girls and Parenthood (latest season now on Netflix!)

Thankful for: Reducing to part-time hours. My life feels much more balanced even after just a few weeks of 24-28 hour work weeks. So, so grateful for the opportunity for flexibility.

Cooking: Lots of crock pot recipes, most recently this chicken chili – yum. And for the busy weeks, Blue Apron.

Doing: Prepping to train for a 10-miler, my first race in a while. I’m pumped about pulling out my running gear again.

Anticipating: Long-time friends moving back to town, weekend trips to see loved ones, and always more hilarious conversations with our almost-4-year old

Wearing: This sweater. So cozy!

Listening: Audiobook of Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. (Funny! Especially if you enjoyed his new show Master of None on Netflix.) I recently downloaded Audible now that I’m officially a commuter via Metro. Any audio book recommendations?


“Faith Sees Best in the Dark”

I read this fabulous post by Sarah Condon last week; it highlighted the interview between Joe Biden and Stephen Colbert from a few weeks back, in which they discuss their faith and personal tragedies. As Condon writes,

Whatever your politics may be, there is something incredibly moving about these two men, who have experienced such profound personal tragedy, softly speaking to one another about how faith has carried them through suffering.

I watched the clip of the interview and it’s not the smoothest or most eloquent. But it is quite poignant. At one point, Biden, who recently lost his son, explains, “Faith sees best in the dark.” He finds comfort in the ritual and consistency of faith. His thoughts really touched me.

Vox it Up

I’m writing to report on a new discovery in communicating with friends: Voxer. For others of you who are late to the game here, it’s basically a tool to send voice messages between people without a phone ringing. Instead of sending a message by text, send a message by voice.

When it comes to staying in touch, I’m a big fan of email. Expression through writing has always come easier for me. But Voxer can save a lot of time. It’s efficient–just speak for a minute or so and send it right along. And listen while you’re driving or brushing your teeth. Also, you can still send text and pictures, too, if you’re on the Metro or something and would rather not speak.

A few of my college friends and I have a group Vox going, and it has been really funny and a neat way to stay in touch day to day. We’ve discussed children’s injuries, YouTube videos that are worth watching, and even events that are a heavier and sad. One evening, one friend modeled her stitch-fix pieces and we Voxed our input–so funny. It’s unbelievably comforting and neat to hear my friends’ voices when we don’t get to see each other all that much.

I wasn’t sure if I would like it, but it turns out, I’m a big Voxer fan. Anyone else out there?

For the Love of Gilmore and Podcasts

Happy Sunday. So I’ve written before about my routine of watching Gilmore Girls in the evening. It’s great background to paperwork, but it’s also worthy of my full attention post-dinner and post-toddler-bedtime.

Also, I’ve written about my love of podcasts to keep me company while cooking or applying make-up or etc etc.

With that, I give you my latest podcast find: The Gilmore Guys.


Y’all, these two young guys recorded their first podcast about the very first episode of GG right before the series was released on Netflix. They devote an hour of podcasting to each episode. (They may combine in the future, but at the beginning, they really break it down and moving slow and steady.) During the hour, they analyze characters, define cultural references, and talk about the outdated fashion choices. And the guys do it with a lot of humor. (They routinely invite celebrities to join as guests on the show, which is funny in the beginning episodes because they hadn’t become famous yet, but I actually think they get some celebrities on in later episodes.)

Check it out if you’re a GG fan, past or present. And warning: it’s an adult listening experience. No listening with kiddos in the car or in the general vicinity. Unless they’re distracted by Dinosaur Train or something.

Any new podcasts you’re into?

Image via Wikipedia.

Catching Up

Welp, we are in the middle of potty training boot camp. We are about 1.5 for 5 in terms of human waste hitting the potty. But I have high hopes that by the end of day 3, we are going to have this thing DOWN. It’s all been pretty dramatic–Campbell has exclaimed with joy at the victories and been appropriately discouraged at the right times: “This is a terrible accident!” The potty training lady says to remain positive, though–especially to the child–and that is forcing on me a sense of optimism that feels very unusual for me. Anyway. I’ll keep you posted. You’re welcome.

In other exciting news, I am reading this good book after recommendations from the Interwebs. I am liking the speed of the mystery novel and the character development. I need to do reviews on two other books I recently finished, The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Orphan Train.  I enjoyed both, but they’re super different. I have started the habit of jotting down sentences or paragraphs from books that really grab me. It’s nice to have those recorded, almost like I’m keeping pieces of the books close to me, even after they’re put up on the shelf or back at the library.

As an anniversary present for myself, I bought another pair of my favorite Madewell jeans. I’m now wearing their jeans probably 5/7 days of the week. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.s I’m also enjoying several colors of these light long-sleeve t’s.

We started the second season of True Detective, but the first episode was a little too dark to me. Thanks to Josie, I’m looking forward to starting Catastrophe soon and hopefully the second season of The Americans, both via Amazon.

Lastly, I have recently discovered the loveliness of a tablecloth for outdoor gatherings. Backstory: we brought a very practical, yet not attractive, outdoor table set back from Bahrain. We bought it there from another family for a great price, and it seemed silly not to load it back up. But the glass top never quite looks clean. So I was browsing the post-Independence Day sale at Sur La Table a few weeks back and ran across this cute tablecloth. It thankfully transforms our table. Throw on our go-to wooden plates that we’ve had since our wedding and some cute cloth napkins, and the whole thing pulls together well for a backyard cookout.

I think that’s all I got. I hear the potty monster yelling upstairs after her nap, so we’ll see what the outcome is of her bed clothes. Have a great weekend!