What I’m Into-October 2015 {& The Return of My Blog!}


Helloooo????  Is this thing on?!?

A bit of blog dust settling on this virtual site is no longer an appropriate description of what happened.  Total desertion is more like it, and for that, I am truly sorry!

The good news is I’ve not completely neglected my creative process. After months away from writing on the interwebs {with the exception of Red Couch Book Club Goodness over at SheLoves}, I’ve begun to once again write online, in my journal, and for my blog.   I’ve also been experimenting with different outlets of expression on the interwebs–meaning YouTube, and Podcasting prep–which I am excited to start to share more about here in the coming months.}

Added into the ‘blackout on the blog’ mix: preparation for multiple auditions,  a  busy summer of rehearsals culminating in a production of the stage musical  Mary Poppins, sporatic bouts of travel and  some trying times in the world of infertility.

With all of that on my plate, the sad truth is my poor, beautiful blog has been the creative space that suffered.

I don’t know a better way to get things started back in these parts than with one of my favorite linkups. {And apparently, after looking back over the last few published posts much earlier this year,  its one of the few things I’m consistent about sharing on the blog.}

{As per usual–affiliate links, if used, support keeping the lights on here at All Manner of Inspiration at no extra cost to you – thank you kindly!}


What I Read

I barely finished reading a single book this month.  I’d like to chalk it up to the fact that I’m reading ALL THE BRILLIANT BOOKS at once.  There are  5-6 books on my nightstand, and one on my Kindle, and all are getting constant rotation in my reading time.  Hence,  I’m about halfway through most of them.  I’m on the last pages of a couple of titles, and the only reason they weren’t finished was because I couldn’t stop underlining, highlighting and meditating on their greatness.

They are ALL worth checking out and reading.


What I’m Reading:

Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, Out of Sorts: Making Peace With An Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey {a MUST-pre-order}, For the Love: Fighting For Grace In A World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker, The Martian by Andy Weir, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love & Life By Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed, Savor by Shauna Niequist,  Bandersnatch: An Invitation to Explore Your Unconventional Soul by Erika Morrison, First Impressions by Charlie Lovett, The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

Queued up to read next:

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon, Healing Oils of the Bible by David Stewart, Unprocessed: My City Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food by Megan Kimble, Audacious by Beth Moore and A Widening Light: Poems of the Incarnation, edited by Luci Shaw.

What I’m Watching

Movies: My hubs and I have been quite the movie goers the past few months.  This month, we caught a couple of movies, which were all great.  House of Spies was the flick my hubs was excited to see, and it didn’t disappoint.  My favorite by far was The Martian.

The Martian was not only my favorite movie we saw this month, but possibly one of the best movies–space-themed or otherwise–that I’ve seen in years!  I’m reading and loving the book, and thought the movie would ruin the fact that I haven’t finished the book.  Happily, that was not the case  at all–they were true to the book’s storyline, but crafted elements of story to the screen in a beautiful adaptation that didn’t include every single second of the book–only the important moments.   The movie is also well loved by the NASA community and scientists alike–in part due to the legitimacy of the science in the novel.

I watched a fascinating YouTube clip of actors from The Martian at Mission Control talking to real live astronauts on the space station.  One of the astronauts said he had read the Martian twice, and planned to read it again.   I also watched a lengthy but great YouTube clip of a ComicCon panel, featuring author Andy Weir, NASA scientists, an astronaut and a producer on The Martian.  If you’re a geek at heart, and even if you’re not, and just love a good story–don’t miss this movie.

Tellyvision: I’m still a big fan of Shonda Rhimes Thursdays, specifically Greys Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder.   I also  LURVE the new comedy Blackish.  {My husband and I laugh out loud hysterically at least once a week during this smart comedy.  I’m obsessed with Jenifer Lewis as the matriarch of the family–her comic chops are nothing short of brilliant.}  I’m also watching Oprah’s Belief series–7 days in a row of beautiful documentary-like footage of belief systems around the world.

Super Soul Sunday Interviews have also been a favorite this month–I’ve actually sat and taken notes during DVR’ed episodes, where Oprah has interviewed the likes of Jimmy Carter, Brene Brown {on her new book Rising Strong, can’t wait to read it!}, Malala Yousofazi and Gloria Steinem.

Oh, and then sometimes I lose a few wise brain cells when I watch DVR’ed episodes of Nashville. {And I’m really not big on country music.  But I love the fact that they’ve hired multiple Broadway actors in leading and supporting roles.}

What I’m Listening To

I pre-ordered Sara Groves’ new album, Floodplain, that releases in November, and I think it might be one of my favorite records she’s ever done.  For a short time, I think the pre-order goodies are still available–I got the audio commentary of the album and a few extra tracks {mixed by Don Chaffer from Waterdeep} which I’m enjoying immensely.  There’s also a pre-order pack that comes with a lovely tshirt and art print that looked fantastic.  Sara is one of my favorite musical story and truthtellers–if you like her music, don’t miss this album.

I also added a few songs to an ongong playlist of current songs I’m enjoying/find/found this year on Spotify:

{Follow me on Spotify here..}


Link Love

Gather It Up: A Fall Playlist by Blaine Hogan: Blaine Hogan is one of my favorite lesser known creatives on the interwebs.  He creates playlists seasonally, and they are always my favorite.  The playlist is on Spotify, but I think its best to go directly to his website, where he shares the motivation behind the music.  {If you like his taste, I’m pretty sure I’ve shared some of his other seasonal playlists in past posts like these – the search bar on my blog should be able to round them up.}

Why You Should Care About Back To the Future Day by Emily Freeman:  Emily always writes blog posts that make you pause and reflect in the most interesting of ways.  I wrote the sentence below immediately in my journal, and couldn’t get it out of my head {in the best way}:

“What can I do today to practice the future I hope to have? “

~Emily P. Freeman

Good Times/Favorite Things


My best friend’s birthday was this month, and we celebrated at a new-to-me Tapas restaurant.  I only took one picture of the lovely food, and a quick photo of us, but aren’t the best times when we focus on the food and the company, and forget the photos?  Yes.


We went to see our friend Shannan dance the lead in a ballet production of Dracula this month.  {It was my husband’s first time at the ballet–I was thrilled he came, and he actually loved it!}  Our wonderful friends Shannan and his wife Christa {also a stunning performer} are professional ballet/classical dancers–so I knew the performance would be great.  That being said,  It was even better than I could have imagined!   {I also loved sitting next to Christa, and getting the play-by-play on each upcoming pas de deux. {That’s ballet-speak for a specific partnered dance, usually between the leading man and woman in the piece.}   It made me extra excited to come back and see them both dance in The Nutcracker this December!

In the matter of fun and trivial things I’ve been loving:  This is my new favorite lipstick.  This one is a close second.  


I am always on the lookout for a good podcast, and I was thrilled when Tsh Oxenreider  rebranded-relaunched her podcast as The Simple Show.  I particularly enjoyed her interviews recently with Emily FreemanMegan Tietz and her first installment of Ask Tsh, On Social Media Noise & Time Suckage.   {Her archives episodes she carried over from her previous podcast included another fave– the podcast with Leigh Kramer on the Enneagram}.

I’ve also been a big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic Podcast, which recently concluded its first season with the release of her book with the same title. {Its FANTASTIC–if you’re a creative, go get it now. }  My favorite episode of the lot was her conversation with Brene Brown. 

And now for something New & Different.


Confessional Time:  These past few months, I might have:

a)  turned into ‘one of those crazy essential oil ladies’  {No, its not bad like it sounds}  


b) ventured into the world of YouTube.

If you’re into this sort of thing, I hope you’ll be as excited as I am.  If you aren’t, and fell inclined to  roll your eyes into the back of your head, and flip to another post, know that while I may share about essential oils  here from time to time, that’s NOT going to become the primary focus of my overall blog. I’m creating a sidebar link to a page where I’ll share most all of my oily thoughts and education–All Manner of Inspired Oils.  Eventually, I’d like this to be its own specific website, but I want to start with a manageable goal.  I can’t wait to share more there with you–essential oils have added so much goodness to my everyday, and I’m enjoying sharing them with my family and friends who are interested.

Which brings me to the other creative outlet I’ve been enjoying this year:


Big gulp here {I don’t know why this is scary to share, but it just is…}:   I’ve started a YouTube channel, where I focus many of the video topics on essential oils.

My channel started as a place to just share about essential oils, but I’m enjoying it so much, I want it to be both an extension and addition to All Manner of Inspiration.  Truth be told, that’s where most of my creativity and attention has gone to creating online content for the past 6 months.  I’m definitely a newbie, and learning as I go–but its a medium where I find it quicker and sometimes, easier to create content, and I’m even enjoying the editing process.  {Its relaxing to me somehow…I know, WHAAT?}

I hope you’ll check out my channel, and if you are a YouTube sort of watching person, I’d love to hear the types of things you’d like to see/covered on my channel.   {If you don’t enjoy YouTube, I hope you’ll still be up for reading my blog.}

It feels VERY vulnerable to share content on YouTube, though I’m not sure why.  Perhaps that’s why most of my videos are rather light and fluffy, and/or about essential oils.   {I’m formulating a blog post about this}.  As an actor and an extroverted ambivert, the chatting part comes easily to me.  But there’s a reason I’ve always enjoyed theatrical performance, and not film.  Looking at my face on a screen isn’t my favorite thing, and that’s the truth.

But there’s something so enjoyable about connecting with community and other YouTubers through that medium, and its turned into a true joy for me.  I’m surprised at the similarities I’m finding in the semantics of it, though its a visual/video medium.

I also want to start podcasting, and would love to interview other creatives and inspiring folk in the future, so it feels like a natural part of the learning/evolution process that will lead me to that next step.

Either way, writing is a part of who I am, and I want to never stop sharing words on my blog and in the world.  Know that I’ll do my best to share content here that you won’t see on YouTube, and vice versa.

That all being said, I figured you probably need to see one of my videos here to see what you think.  I did a quick ‘tag video’ {I’m already learning the lingo…HA!} this summer, and shared a few random things about myself for my YouTube viewership.  Its fun and frothy and light–an aspect I enjoy on my channel.  {I think the deeper, more weighty words and topics online, for me, will usually land on the blog and in writing mediums.}   Let me know what you think:

I’m also sharing a YouTube version of these posts each month on my channel —My Monthly Favorites.

This month, I’m also starting to share more about my blog on YouTube, so if you’ve joined me from there, know that these What I’m Into posts contain more content I don’t share over there.

Side Note:  {I’m also on Periscope, but haven’t really shared much content in that medium.  I tend to be in the camp that enjoys watching Periscopes more than making them.  If you would like to see something from me there on any particular topic,  I can start sharing more there.   Find my Periscope handle through Twitter.}

If you’re still reading this post, I can’t thank you enough–I know it was quite long-winded!  I truly love sharing these What I’m Into posts over at Leigh’s place–they help me record the beauty of my everyday life.

What were YOU into this month?  Let me know in the comments!


4 comments on “What I’m Into-October 2015 {& The Return of My Blog!}

  1. I absolutely love that Emily Freeman quote, and wrote it down also! Sounds like you’ve been doing a great job reading. And–breaks are okay. Essential, even. Good work on all ends!

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