What I’m Into – February 2016

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If I thought January was a whirlwind, February quickly became a cyclone!  For me, most of the month was about performing in the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie – from weekly rehearsals to the fastest tech week process I’ve EVER experienced, to the wonderful gift of a 3 week show run.  {A rarity at regional theatres in my neck of the woods}.

I also snuck in any available minute to spend time with my hubby.  We enjoyed a visit from my husband’s Mom, I read a few fantastic books and got excited about planning my best friends baby shower and starting to write again.

{As usual, any pennies earned from the affiliate links below, if used, go towards keeping the lights on here at ye olde blog – thanks!}

Books

What I Read

After You by JoJo Moyes

I didn’t know what I was going to think about the sequel to one of my favorite fiction reads of 2015.  I very much appreciated that Moyes took the time to flesh out an interesting sequel story for Lou, the protaganist in Me Before You.

 I would gander a guess that many diehard fans of Moyes’ first book didn’t like this book as much as its predecessor, but I don’t think the intention was for this story to have that same kind of lustre.  I was sucked into the story quicker than I expected, and I felt the resolution was satisfying.   Was it my favorite fiction read ever? Not really, but if you were invested in the characters in Me Before You, I think you’ll enjoy this read.

Four Seasons In Rome: On Twins, Insomnia & the Biggest Funeral In the History of the World by Anthony Doerr 

Oh my word, I absolutely LOVED this book!  Written by the Pulitzer prize winning author of All The Light You Cannot See, this book checked out off many boxes of my favorite reading components–memoir writing about living in Italy {one of my favorite places on Earth} for a year, written in sumptuous prose.

There’s no plot twists, no huge developments–the main events of the book are described in a somewhat clunky subtitle {my ONLY non-rave about the book, and that’s a small point that didn’t matter}.

The simple narrative may have been another reason I loved it – Doerr managed to write about everyday discovery in a new country alongside his wife and their newborn twins with a seamless beauty and a distinct and stunning writing voice.  Its one of the first books I’ve read in a long while, where MULTIPLE passages of prose were underlined JUST because they were written so beautifully.   This is one of my favorite reads of the year and is one of the best travel memoirs I’ve ever read–DON’T MISS IT.

Searching For Sunday: Loving, Leaving & Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans

This is a case of a book coming back into my hands at the exact moment I needed it.  I first bought and started reading Held’s latest memoir last year right when it was released.  I enjoyed the writing and the story, but found it just wasn’t resonating with me and where I was in my life at that moment.  I put it down to read another time, and it sadly got buried in my ever-growing-to-read-stack.  {What can I say, I’ve got #booknerdproblems.}

I picked this book up this month when I was feeling much of the heaviness that Helds seems to feel about her faith, her ever evolving theology, and her journey with the church.  This is her story, to be clear, but I couldn’t stop underlining, resonating, ‘hmmm-mmmm-ing’ and cheering her on.

As of late I am having a lot of the same feels as she seemed to go through in this book, and having her story through her words felt like having a fellow spiritual traveller/companion with on my own journey.  I think this is some of Rachel’s strongest and most beautiful prose yet–I absolutely LOVED this book.

What I’m Reading

Roots & Sky by Christie Purifoy, Coming Clean by Seth Haines, Out of the House of Bread by Preston Yancey, The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr, For The Love by Jen Hatmaker & Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram.

What I’m Watching

Tellyvision: Shondaland fans, rejoice–Thursday night TV came back with a vengeance this month.  I’m watching How To Get Away With Murder & Grey’s Anatomy–I’m in awe that the writers on Greys are still spinning mesmerizing storylines that suck me in.  I’m still watching Scandal, but am really only holding onto that show by a virtual thread–though they’ve got my attention with the upcoming election story angle–here’s hoping it’ll reel me back into the show.

I’m loving and simultaneously dreading the end of Downton Abbey. (GAH, that episode with Edith and Mary!).  Other faves are Top Chef, Younger, and Blackish–I’m pretty sure Ruby is my spirit animal.

Netflix: I’m loving Mozart in the Jungle, and look forward to some down time when I can continue binge watching The West Wing.  And like the rest of my blogisphere compadres, I’M COUNTING DOWN TO THE GILLY {GILMORE} GIRLS RE-BOOT!!

What I’m Listening to

I’ve been constantly adding songs to my 2016 playlist this month from the playlists that are curated by Tsh Oxenreider as part of her Upstream Field Guide e-course.  I think she and I are musical kindred spirits–she most definitely has the spiritual gift of the mixtape.

Through the UFG playlists, I’ve discovered the score to one of my favorite movies, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  I already own the popular soundtrack, but the score by Theodore Shapiro, featuring the vocals of Jose Gonzalez has become another favorite this month.

Blogisphere Beauts

Michelle DeRusha: Why I Wear Lipstick and Shoes When I Write

…Maybe you’re an artist or a small business owner or a writer like me, wrestling with your definition of success.

…If this is the case, here’s my advice for you: do one small thing every day that reminds you that your work — whether it’s mothering, volunteering, entrepreneuring, freelancing, caretaking — is important. Do one small thing every day that reminds you that you are valuable. Do one small thing every day that reminds you that you and your contributions are legitimate and worthwhile, whether you get paid a little or a lot or nothing at all.

Anne Bogel at Modern Mrs. Darcy: When You’re Living in the Wrong Movie

I said: Maybe you’re in the wrong movie.

He said: I think I am. But what’s the right one?

Believe it or not, this conversation made total sense to us.

Tsh Oxenreider at The Art of Simple: How I Use My Bullet Journal & How to Find Inspiration When You’re Uninspired

I’m unabashedly a writer-downer of things; in fact, the sheer act of writing helps me remember and process.

 

The past few years, I’ve learned that my immediate environment critically affects my mood, from the clutter on my desk to the natural light pouring through my window (or lack thereof), to the walkability of the streets outside my front door. I used to apologize for that, but I don’t now. It’s how I’m made. I’m deeply affected by my surroundings.

Interviews/Podcasts at Offcamera.com: I first discovered these interviews through Leigh Kramer and Anne Bogel’s blog posts.  I’ve specifically loved the episodes with Connie Britton, Matt Damon {see Anne’s post above for more on Damon’s interview} and Olivia Wilde.  I’m looking forward to listening to the interviews with Jon Hamm and Will Ferrell as well.

 Favorite Moments

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I have to say I’m giddy and euphoric whenever my husband surprises me.  Our Valentines day was both celebratory and low key, surprising and perfect-to-me.  {I’m sorry for those readers who hate cheesy Valentines stories, but I waited a long while to find my Valentine, so I choose to celebrate our love as much as I can.}

My sweet husband and I enjoyed a delicious dinner at a new-to-us restaurant {he looked smashingly handsome in his new blazer}, then he surprised me with a date-night-excursion to Painting With A Twist.  {He even brought a bottle of my favorite ‘sweet wine for us to savor as we painted our picture together.}

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Thoroughly Modern Millie & Making New Friends

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One of the things I’ve loved about performing in Millie this month has been getting to know an entirely different community of actors than I’ve known locally in past years. {And yes, that’s really me in the picture above in a full blown black wig.}   Everyone in this cast is funny, compassionate, interesting, and a sheer delight to be around.  They have been light and joy to me, as I’ve struggled lately to find real community in my day to day life.

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The difficult thing about doing regional theatre is the leaving of the show–the short bursts of creativity and excitement, then the letdown of getting back to the daily grind and not seeing people you saw for hours on end every single week.

I hope to have made genuine and true friends through this production.  I’m so grateful to know every person in this cast, and I hope to have imparted to them even half of the joy and energy they have given me.

 This Month’s Quintessential Essential Oils

valor spray

DIY Valor Spray: I made myself a bottle of Valor spray this month, and it quickly became my best friend at theatre rehearsals.  Performing a character role in a fast and furious rehearsal process sometimes left me insecure and unsure of myself.  I don’t care how woo-woo it sounds–dousing myself in the delicious musky scents of Valor helped my creative process immensely. It also helped my Valor essential oil bottles go the extra mile.  {Especially now that Valor is out of stock due to seasonal plant harvests–BOO.}

White Angelica and Northern Lights Black Spruce:

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These essential oil beauts were my new-to-me oil purchases this month–they smell  AH-MAZ-ING! I think NL Black Spruce might be one of my favorite tree oil scents {next to Frankincense}, and I loved that my nose picked up the scent of Rose in White Angelica.

For more of my Young Living Favorites, check out this month’s Favorites video on my YouTube channel.

What I’m Looking Forward To In March

Having a short break from the hustle and bustle of a crazy-busy show rehearsal/performance schedule; working on creating lots of content for YouTube and pursuing writing projects; much more time with my hubby and friends and planning my bestie’s baby shower.

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

{As always, I love linking up with Leigh.}

9 comments on “What I’m Into – February 2016

  1. It looks like you’ve had a fun month! I haven’t done theater since high school, but it was always a blast. P.S. I found you from the “What I’m Into” linkup.

    1. Thanks so much for checking out my post – yay! I read your posts as well through the linkup–such a great one Leigh has.

  2. Congratulations on a successful production of Thoroughly Modern Millie! Must be so much fun (and work) to perform and be part of a cast!

    The Doerr book in Rome has been on my list for a while. Need to move it up! Thanks for a positive review of After You. People I know keep giving it 2-3 stars on GoodReads, and I’m all, “Sure, she didn’t fall in love with another paralyzed man, but this was actually a good book that shows that Moyes knows and loves these characters.” I thought it was well worth reading.

    Since you are a Shonda fan, have you read her Year of Yes book? I don’t want her shows (sure they are great though), but I loved the book.

    Totally obsessed with Gilmore Girls and cannot wait to meet up with them again, especially with Amy S-P at the helm again.

    1. Thanks so much for checking out this post! 🙂 ‘Millie’ was a lot of work and time, but oh-so-very fun–was so grateful to be a part of that cast! If you like memoir and you enjoy reading about Italy–definitely bump up ‘4 Seasons In Rome’ on your reading list, I loved it. ‘The Year of Yes’ has been on my to-read list for awhile now, but I keep hearing rave reviews about it, so I think I need to read it sooner than later. And yay for Gilmore Girls!

  3. Love that you got to do such a fun show! I used to do lots of theater back when I was young as well! Maybe someday when the kids are bigger I’ll go back to it!! Love your blog!

  4. Wow, I basically need to read every book on your list (except Jojo Moyes…sorry, I didn’t like her first one – don’t hate me!!!). Doerr’s book has kept popping up, and I need to just get on that!

  5. I love your favorites videos on YouTube 🙂 so glad I found your channel. Love my YL products and oils!!

    1. Thanks Erica! So grateful you’re enjoying the channel! I’ll be posting more about oils soon on my blog – thanks for reading as well! 🙂

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