What I’m Into – June 2014


Summer always seems to sneak up on me, and this year was no exception.  June felt like even more of a whirl, because we moved into our new house the first week of the month.  We’re well into July, and we are still unpacking, but happily, our beautiful house is starting to feel like home.

In addition to packing, this month has been stuffed to the gills with volunteering, a quick weekend trip to see my brother and his family,  and the wonderfully busyness of musical theatre creativity, with Phantom rehearsals in full swing for the better part of the summer.

 Blogisphere Bounty

The Nester: Why the World Needs the Makers to Say No Boldly  

 {I read Myquillyn’s blog everyday, and am a charter member to her family’s genius site, Hopeologie.  This post is one of the many reasons I am a fan.}

I’ve learned that I am the ONLY person who will protect my own creativity and livelihood.

~Myquillyn Smith


Addie Zierman: 10 Books in My Writer’s Toolbox , Summer Is For Reading & her series on blogging – brilliant!

 {I devour resource posts like these – they are one of the reasons I love the blogisphere.}


I don’t know how to experience summer without the silent soundtrack of someone else’s words. I breathe in the smell of sunscreen and bug repellent and damp, lake air, and it makes me want to read.

~Addie Zierman


Michelle DeRusha:  There’s More Than One Way To Get the Work Done (the Writing Life)   

{Michelle was one of my first friends/connections in the blogging world.  She is a fantastic writer, and I love her honesty and candor.  She regularly inspires me with her words.}

Donald Miller is correct about one thing: writing a book does demand your all. It requires a fierce dedication, unwavering perseverance, militant discipline and sacrifice. You can’t write a book without making radical adjustments to life as you know it.

But know this, too: writing a book in the midst of ordinary life may not be perfect or ideal, and it may not be what your dream of the writing life looked like way back when you were an English major, but it can be done and done well.

~Michelle DeRusha


Alia Joy:  Writing Questions Blog Hop 

{Alia’s writing is some of the most beautiful prose I’ve read in the blogisphere.  Read all of her words that you stumble upon, I promise it will be worth it to your soul.} 

My pen is my weapon of choice to fight off the darkness that comes when depression looms, it’s my compass for navigating my messy mind, my even messier heart. It’s my mirror to show what’s really there when everything else has been washed away and only the words that speak truth remain. It’s the prayers I leak onto the page, it’s the rally cry to be all in when it’s so easy to check out. It’s my wail and lament and why God. It is the hard questions and the breadcrumb trail to find my way home.

~Alia Joy


Tsh Oxenreider & Family:  Hello to the Art of Simple Travel 

{I have been following Tsh’s blog and podcasts for quite some time, especially since she rebranded her blog to The Art of Simple.  I have also been very excited to see her launch this new travel blog, as she and her family experience one of my dreams in traveling the world.  Even more incredible to me is that she gets to blog, and write about a book about the whole experience.  My dream job on a platter.  I will be reading every post.  I would LOVE to write for a site like this one day.}

 As our family of five revs up to explore and travel as a daily part of our modus operandi, we craved a space to share with you our love of travel.

To encourage you to get out “there,” even if it’s a block away. To bravely think outside the box. To take risks together as a family, and to wield your privilege and responsibility wisely. To not be scared to immerse in the different.

~Tsh Oxenreider


Anne Lamott’s Facebook Status Updates, in particular, this one. {About her book writing process, and upcoming book.}

We stitch together quilts of meaning to keep us warm and safe, with whatever patches of beauty and utility we have on hand. We help each other laugh, against all odds. Barry Lopez was right: after all is said and done, all we have are compassion and stories.

~Anne Lamott


Sarah Bessey’s videos at The Work of the People – my favorite one is on detoxing from ‘not enough’ posted this month on Sarah’s blog.


Foodie Finds


A SCRUMPTIOUS recipe for Panzanella Salad from Geoffrey Zakarian on The Food Network’s new show, The Kitchen.


I’ve never been a big artichoke eater (with the exception of marinated artichoke hearts in my salads), but THIS.DISH.  Its truly the best artichoke you will ever eat — slightly buttered and salted, steamed, then grilled to perfection.  Finished off with a touch of juice from a grilled lemon on top, and served with a dipping sauce of chipotle mayo that’s slap-your-g’ma-good—this appetizer is now one of my favorite foodie finds ever.  {If you’re local to Fort Worth, you can enjoy this appetizer here.}



What I Read

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Yes, I am one of the last people I know to read this book.  I did so purposefully.  I lost my Mom, Grandmother, Grandfather and a good few other folks to cancer, and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to handle reading a whole book about terminally ill cancer kids.

The book really was as wonderfully written, and charming as everyone told me it would be.  Some parts were hard to read, because I had flashbacks of my own experience of losing loved ones.  But all in all, my fellow bloggers and friends were right: its a beautiful read.

I’ve never been one for ‘trigger points’ in my reading.  But I realized reading about people experiencing this disease may very well be one for me.   If you have a similar story, perhaps consider that before reading, but regardless, I strongly recommend this riveting and vulnerable read.

What I’m Reading

Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler,  The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), Tables In The Wilderness by Preston Yancey, The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski, Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd & Ann Kidd Taylor & Soul Keeping by John Ortberg.



Since I’m now a full-on ‘burbs dweller, I’ve been checking out my shopping options for furnishing our new home on a budget.  People, how am I now JUST discovering the fabulousness that is HomeGoods?  

So far, I’ve found the beautiful small area rug pictured above, a handful of GORGEOUS journals–all for $4 or less {two favorites are pictured above}, a planter head/bust statue, a regular small bust that I plan to cover with chalk paint and put in my study, and a small mat for our dog’s food for the kitchen.   We also found a HUGE, soft rug for the dining room that we tried out, but it didn’t look right in the space.  {We were able to wrap it up and return it the next day, which was a helpful convenience.}   I know it will be a regular pit stop for me, as we decorate and finish moving into our new home.

What I Listened To

Sarah Mclachlan – Shine: This newest album of Sarah’s is one of the best I’ve heard from her in a long while.  Its acoustic, and soft and is a perfect fit for my mood in the summer.

All Sons & Daughters {technically a spring release, but I’m just now listening to it regularly.}

Coldplay – Ghost Stories: Though my husband disagrees, this is one of my favorite Coldplay albums to come along in the past few years.  I love the moody, introspective vibe of the record when played from start to finish.  I also LOVE blaring “A Sky Full of Stars” in my car, to get myself energized for Phantom rehearsals.





I have been LOVING this monthly service, hosted by a beautiful family of artists, including The Nester (Myquillyn Smith), Emily Freeman (of the Chatting At The Sky blog), and their dad, radio host/blogger/writer Gary Morland.  I’ve been a charter member since April, and the material they create each month is truly life-giving.

What it is and how it works: each month Hopeologie has a new theme that drives that month’s offered content, including multiple articles, DIY projects, (sometimes) videos, worksheets to help you process through the theme, as well as (my favorite feature) beautiful–and sometimes practical, like this month–printables created by Annie Barnett.

They make sure that you can download all of the material, and have given great tips on how to create your own ‘Hopeologie’ notebook.  {The cover of my own Hopeologie book has one of my favorite printables pictured above.}  Oooo, and how could I forget the podcasts?!   They are usually at least 2, which are informative, fun and funny.  (In particular, the Sister-o-logie podcast between sisters Myquillyn & Emily is always full of laughs).

So far, they’ve had themes like hospitality, rest, and imperfection – right up my alley.  If you even halfway enjoy either the Nester or Emily’s blogs,  I think you’ll enjoy Hopeologie as much as I do.

{By the way, I am in no way an affiliate, or getting compensated to say any of those things.  I just really love their work, and I think you will too.}


More June Favorites


I alluded at the end of last month’s post to our moving this month.  We moved everything we own into a beautiful house that even smells new the first week of June.

This is one of the views that takes my breath away.  I’m in love with the wood beams on the ceiling of our family room, and the darkly colored wood, and cool, smooth granite in our kitchen.  I NEVER in my wildest dreams thought I’d live in a house I find so beautiful.

But even better than the aesthetics, is the way we feel in our home.  My first day there, I thought I’d miss our old house.  And our old house was also WONDERFUL.  But I didn’t miss it one bit.  This place we have found feels good.  It feels like a respite, a haven, a place to be imperfect and comfortable and a place to grow.

I’m hoping to share more pictures in the coming months as we go through the process of decorating, which only slightly terrifies me.   (I’ve been reading this fantastic book to get me through the process.)


I very happily bought my first new pair of character shoes in years for Phantom rehearsals.  {And to be clear: I’m not performing in the version of Phantom that 99% of the world’s population knows, the Andrew Lloyd Webber version on Broadway.  This is the same story by a different composer, written by Maury Yeston.  The script is by Arthur Kopit.  Its beautiful and fun and a dreamy, dreamy show to be a part of.  If you’re local to Dallas/Fort Worth, treat yourself to a wonderful afternoon/evening of theatre!}

When I was a full-time performer, I had multiple pairs of characters in beige and black,  along with my tap, jazz and ballet shoes.   Its amazing that something as simple as a pair of shoes can aid so much in your creative process.  I’d equate it to the perfect laptop or pen for the writer–an essential tool.

I’ve waited quite awhile to perform in a musical once again, and I don’t take it lightly.    I’ve also reached the age and stage in my life when performing in a show is no longer just a ‘job’, but a gift.  I can’t wait to share more with you about my creative adventures later this summer.


Well, considering in a week or so, it’ll be time for the July What I’m Into linkup, I should probably hit ‘publish’ on this old post.  

{Any affiliate links used help support this blog – thanks!}

What were you into in June?

6 comments on “What I’m Into – June 2014

  1. Thanks for the shout-out Sarah! Also — HomeGoods. My achilles heel. Back in January, I thought we’d been a victim of the Target credit-card-number theft and that our account had been hacked. Humbling moment when I realized that it was just some Crazy Lady who kept going back to HomeGoods for more baskets and totes… :-S

    1. Ha–love your HomeGoods story! 😉 I am a regular thrifty shopper, and I’m surprised I’ve just discovered its goodness! We almost bought a chaise lounge there the other day, because it is hundreds of dollars cheaper there than anyone else, but another couple snatched it up before us. Its definitely a place that helps me feel less intimidated in the decorating dept! So glad I could feature your posts Addie – they are always amazing. Hope your book writing is going well!

  2. So good to hear about all that’s happening in your world! I look forward to checking out all the great links –thanks! Your house looks beautiful!

    1. Thank you Mimi! I am so grateful for your online friendship, and you keeping up with my sporadic blogging! I am desperately trying to find the balance between my daily schedule, and continuing to write. I hope your summer is going well!

  3. HomeGoods. Oh my word. Was there ever such a perfect place for affordable home decor? If I had to get rid of everything I own from that store, my house would be pretty bare (not to mention disorganized!).

    I’d love to hear what you ended up thinking of The Cuckoo’s Calling! It’s technically on my to-read list, but because I’m not *super* excited about it, it keeps getting pushed to the back burner. I loved Harry Potter so much as a kid–I think I was 9 when Sorcerer’s Stone came out, and 17 or 18 when Deathly Hallows was released. It felt like we grew up together . . . and I’m so afraid of Rowling’s other books somehow “tainting” that experience that I’ve stayed away from them so far. To read or not to read: I need your trusted opinion!

    1. You know, I’m still reading Cuckoo’s Calling, but I honestly put it down for some other fast moving books. I am enjoying it, but it seems a bit slow moving right now. (I’m smack dab in the middle). I’ve heard it picks up, and I’m going to give it a fair shot for sure, because I am enjoying the writing and the story, I’ve just got a stack of other books right now. I’ve also heard that the 2nd book in the series is a little better, and feels more like Rowling’s regular writing style. I’ll let you know what I think! 🙂

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