What I’m Into – January 2016


If December was a sleepy, happily slow month with holiday savoring and personal reflection, then January hit the ground running like a kid pumped full of sugar, tearing across the playground during recess.

The first week of the month I started rehearsals for an operetta concert, and everything picked up steam from there.  I’m thrilled to be in a busy-for-me season of performing and creativity.

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Simultaneous Shows


In January, I rehearsed and performed in a concert performance of the operetta, The New Moon, and began rehearsals for a musical theatre production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. I’ve loved the music of Millie for years, and am so excited to tackle and savor the character role of Mrs. Meers.

All The Books


What I Read


Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert:

So, technically, I included this book in my 2015 reads, because I read the bulk of the book last fall and Advent season.  I’m including it here because specifically, I finished the last page on January 4th.  {I’ve become randomly anal about when I finish a book and correctly documenting it.}

The truth of the matter is I loved this book so much, I purposely read it slowly so it would last longer.  I LOVE books on creativity, and besides Emily Freeman’s A Million Little Ways, this is probably my favorite book on the subject.  Its conversational, with elements of memoir, instruction, advice and maybe a dash of self-help (in the best, un-obnoxious way).   There are a few chapters and concepts that no doubt folks will think are woo-woo, but I still resonated with the entire message.  There are MANY concepts and ideas that Gilbert talked about in these pages that I am ruminating over, and suspect I will be for some time. {Many of them deserve their own blog post, I hope I can follow through and write them!}

If you are a creative, love a creative, or just love Gilbert’s writing, READ.THIS.BOOK.NOW.



Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song by Sara Bareilles:

I was all set to dislike this book.  Though I love Sara Bareilles’ music, I wondered why she was writing a memoir of her life at such a young age, unless a fat celebrity paycheck or personal vanity was behind it.  {I know, harsh.  Yes, I need to check the judgy-ness at the door.}

I’m glad I stuck this read out, as I was immediately drawn in by her very readable, slightly self depricating and conversational writing style.  She seems quite honest, and I particularly loved the chapters where she writes letters to her younger selves, and speaks about her journey thus far composing and creating the Broadway bound musical version of the movie, Waitress.

This was a light and fluffy read for me, with morsels of wisdom and self reflection to enjoy. I have a new found respect for Bareilles, and am eagarly awaiting her new musical’s debut this year on Broadway!


Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual {Illustrated edition} by Michael Pollan

This book has been on my unread shelf for way too long, so I decided the beginning of the year was as good a time as any to read this informative and short read.

I think this illustrated edition is a shortened version of Pollan’s original book, and I must say I preferred it.  Divided into 3 sections, Pollan espouses food wisdom that is important, practical and helpful—especially timely to me and my current goals and aspirations to clean eating, diet and exercise.   I highlighted and wrote out passages in my notebooks to keep in mind when shopping for and cooking my daily meals.

This read is also the first on my 2016 Reading Challenge list from Anne Bogel

What I’m Reading Now


Four Seasons In Rome by Anthony Doerr,  After You by JoJo Moyes,  Out of the House of Bread by Preston Yancey, Coming Clean by Seth Haines The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle, For the Love by Jen Hatmaker and Savor by Shauna Niequist.


Link Love

Preston Yancey: Where I’ve Been

Edie Wadsworth: 3 Reasons You Should Still Build A Family Library {in a digital, konmari world}

What I’m Watching

My husband and I LOVED the New Year’s Day Sherlock special!  (I will forever be one of Benedict’s biggest fans–Cumberb*tches unite!).  I loved the time travel angle, and the always-intelligent writing.  I’m just bummed we’ll seemingly have to wait another 25 years for the next one….

Tellyvision:  My Shondaland shows aren’t premiering until February {boo}, so I’ve pretty much stuck to watching shows my husband and I DVR, including Big Bang Theory and  Blackish. {The episode where Ruby starts dating made me ROAR with laughter.  I’m obsessed with the comedy of Jenifer Lewis–I think she might be my spirit animal.}  My husband and I also enjoyed starting to watch the X-Files re-boot.  I missed it the first time around, but my hubs was a big fan.  I personally also can’t miss an episode of Downton Abbey‘s last season, and I’ve started watching this season’s Top Chef.

Netflix: I think I am one of the only people I know who never watched The West Wing.  I started Season 1 this month, and am loving it–all hail the King of cinematic dialogue, Aaron Sorkin.  I’m also obsessed with Alison Janney’s performance–so brilliant.

After watching the Golden Globes, I became intrigued by Mozart In the Jungle.  I’m at the beginning of the 2nd season, and LOVE it! {Though I can’t understand why the leading character–playing a world-class conductor–can’t pretend to be even an adequate conductor, FOR THE LOVE.  Sigh…can you tell I was a music major?}.  Here’s hoping they renew it for a 3rd season.


What I’m Listening To


Notable & New to me: What Should I Read Next? by Anne Bogel:

I absolutely LOVE this new podcast! Anne writes one of my favorite blogs, Modern Mrs. Darcy.   Each week Anne interviews her guest of choice and asks them about their book loves and hates, then ‘prescribes’ a few book suggestions–hopefully ones they haven’t heard of or read.  Its also a perfect length between 20 and 30 minutes.

Anne practiced this literary art with a blog series in past years, and she’s good at it–recommending books for every guest they’ve never heard of or considered. The conversation is great, and the book titles are worth checking out.  {Though for the record, I think most of her recommendations are books she’s already discussed on her blog.  Perhaps that will change, as she gets more episodes under her belt.}

I’ve devoured all 4 episodes (they are released every Tuesday, which is awesome!).  My favorite episodes thus far are with author Seth Haines and podcaster Jacey Verdicchio.

I also want to go on record publicly and say, I WANT TO BE AN UPCOMING GUEST!  PLEASE ANNE!  {Shameless and pitiful plea, I know.}


Tried & True Favorite Podcast: The Simple Show by Tsh Oxenreider

I’ve started another yearly playlist on my Spotify channel.  I’ve only added a few tracks so far, because I’m mostly listening to the original cast recording of Thoroughly Modern Millie in my car to learn my music for the show performance. I’m still loving Adele’s 25, and Sirius XM Radio’s Broadway & Coffeehouse channels are on constant rotation during my car commutes.

I’m also LOVING playlists by Tsh Oxenreider that are part of her Upstream Field Guide E-Course–I’ll share more about that next month!

Good Times/Favorite Things:


Dressing Room chats {& wacky selfies} with fellow castmates



My sweet hubs and I ended the month with a lovely date nite out at a new-to-us restaurant, where we discovered delicious Moscow mules made with blueberries.



{YEP, though you may not have seen it, I’m all too aware of the spot of lipstick on my teeth in this photo.  Unfortunately, I’m not well versed in photo shop.  Let’s just focus on the lovely Cloth & Paper box, shall we?}  🙂 

Penspiration Box by Cloth & Paper

The monthly Penspiration Box subscription might just be my new obsession.  

January was my first month to receive a subscription from Cloth and Paper – a fabulous stationary online store of sorts.  The Penspiration box is a monthly package of glorious-pen-goodness: anywhere from 4 to 6 pens and perhaps a stationary surprise or two delivered in a lovely navy box with gold lettering. {I’m a sucker for quality packaging, and Cloth & Paper does NOT disappoint.}  My first box had 6 different pens, and I love writing with every.single.one. of them! {They also included a small post-it-note pad in a beautiful marble design I never even knew I needed.}

I’ve filmed an unboxing for my YouTube Channel that would’ve been live already if I hadn’t destroyed my external hard drive {see sad story below}.  Look for that unboxing in the next few weeks – I’m  hoping to make it a monthly series.



SheLoves Red Couch Book Club:  Our first book this year is a slightly obscure title by my favorite author Madeleine L’Engle, The Irrational Season.  I was honored to contribute the discussion post.  Join us in the Facebook group to discuss all the things about this book!



I discovered Nekter Fruit & Peanut Butter bowls with hemp granola and fruit this month–they are  SO DELICIOUS! They’re expensive, but with a pea protein add-in, they make a meal, and have become my favorite yummy treat!

Essential Oil Faves {Young Living}


—>Peace & Calming essential oil blend:  AS ALWAYS.  This is the EO blend I use every single day, whether its in a spray bottle in my purse during the day, or in my diffuser before I go to sleep.    {I’m also loving the combination of diffusing 3-4 drops of Peace & Calming with 1-2 drops of Ravintsara before I go to bed.  Magical…}

—>Deep Relief roll-on blend:  I used this before and after each performance of The New Moon, to ease my neck tension.  This blend is now a permanent fixture in my purse/rehearsal bag.  I love using this as part of my nightime routine–it feels cooling along my neck and shoulders.


—>Harmony, Highest Potential & Valor essential oil blends:  These were my staple blends to use before rehearsals.  Harmony smells to me like a fresh flower garden, and Valor smells like a light musk and a fresh floral perfume had a baby–scrumptious.

—>Current Home & Car Diffusing Combo: RC/Thieves for healthy respiratory & immune support.  Another favorite diffusing combo discovery this month was Valor II & Frankincense.

If you aren’t already a member of Young Living, I’d love to help you out and get you started!  Click here to order products at wholesale cost, and learn more about my team.

{I also share my monthly Young Living faves in every monthly Favorites video on my YouTube Channel–here’s my Favorites Playlist.}


First, the good news!

I shared a few fun videos on my channel this month.  My favorites included:  Essential oils I Use Before An Audition and My 2015 End-of-Year Favorites–check them out below:

And now for Technological Meltdown #2!  (I can still barely talk about the first one…)

{Gah, I’m so OVER having technological meltdowns in working on my video content for YouTube!}

After FINALLY cleaning up the hard drive of my MacBook Pro, and getting an external hard drive to use for work on my YouTube video footage, this morning I dropped said external hard drive on our tile floor, shattering it into 3 pieces, and despite putting it back together, I certifiably killed it. Never mind the fact that I had JUST finished editing 2 videos with its contents.  {Over an hour of footage, and 4 days/HOURS worth of work!)

My husband and I thankfully were able to purchase a better external hard drive on Amazon Prime, so now its back to the editing board and filming room to make MORE videos while I wait for the drive to arrive on my doorstep.  {I’ll be posting my January Favorites video to YouTube as soon as I can!}

What I’m Looking Forward to in February


Performing a dream character role {Mrs. Meers} in a musical production of Thoroughly Modern Millie for 3 weeks, celebrating Valentines Day with my hubby, creating new content on YouTube, unboxing my Essential Rewards from Young Living {a regular video series on my YouTube channel}, receiving another Penspiration box in the mail, reading good books, starting to plan my best friend’s baby shower and finding some free time to hang out with friends.

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

{as always, Leigh’s linkups are a joy.}

2 comments on “What I’m Into – January 2016

  1. I have yet to read Big Magic but I definitely have it on my radar. I’ve listened to a few interviews about it with Elizabeth Gilbert and it sounds very inspiring.

    I’m not a fan of memoirs from youngsters either. ha. But yes, you’re right that we don’t need to be judgmental about it. Everybody has a story to tell and they shouldn’t have to wait until they’re old to tell it. 🙂

    Preston Yancey’s book is really calling me the most here. I tend toward a contemplative nature so anything with spiritual disciplines in the title does appeal to me, even as it challenges me greatly.

    Blackish is one of my favorite shows. Definitely a laugh-out-loud series.

    Thanks for your post at The Red Couch on The Irrational Season. Not only was it good to read the book, but I’ve enjoyed reading what everybody else says about it too.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting here! I’m also so glad you enjoyed Irrational Season at the Red Couch – Madeleine L’Engle is my favorite author, and reading one of her books was pure joy for me! 🙂

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