What I’m Into – May 2016


April was so busy that it almost felt like a complete surprise to me when May rolled around, and subsequently flew by.  Because Texas had lovely temperatures and lots of rain this month, it finally felt like the tail-end of spring, ushering  summer in with subltle heat and a deluge of rain showers.  {Apparently, I’m turning into my parents in my advancing years and can only describe a season by its weather.  Sigh.}

I started rehearsing a production of “Anything Goes” and continued to grow my YouTube channel {I hit my first subscriber goal – yay!}.  I took pages and pages of notes watching various online summit interviews and e-courses and have been much more intentional about journaling.

I feel like I’m in a season of consuming – books, e-courses, music–any sort of wisdom or beauty.  I think its both to fill my creative well and relax into summer.



What I Read


Lessons In Belonging From A Church-Going Commitment Phobe by Erin S. Lane

Man oh man, did I need this book!

Erin’s debut memoir about her search for community in the church was a phenomenal read for me this month.  She voiced so much of what I feel I’m experiencing in my current search for faith community, and though much of her personal experience is not my own, I couldn’t stop underlining, making notes in the margins and carrying around her book like a new friend – this was one of my favorite spiritual memoir reads this year!

Fun author moment: I went to dinner with my friend Cara during the Festival of Faith & Writing last month, along with a few other gals I didn’t know.  I sat next to a lovely gal who I enjoyed chatting with whom I’d never met before.  Turned out, it was Erin Lane, the author of this book, and I didn’t realize/know that until the next day!  I would’ve LOVED to chat with her about this book, I will definitely be sending her an email of thanks for her words!


Writing Day In & Day Out by Andi Cumbo-Floyd

Andi was also a speaker at the Festival of Faith & Writing.   Though I did not attend her sessions, I became familiar with her name hearing about her writing through friends.  {She was also on this episode of Anne Bogel’s What Should I Read Next podcast.}  This short and sweet e-book was on sale this month, and I’m so glad I snatched it up.  There’s nothing new here, but that doesn’t matter.  I love when writers share parts of their process with me, as well as what they’ve learned to be a better writer.  There’s also some lovely encouragment in these pages – its a short read and a fabulous pick for fellow writers!

What I’m Reading

The Passage by Justin Cronin, Brazen by Leeana Tankersley, Out of Sorts: Making Peace With An Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey, Coming Clean by Seth Haines & The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney.

Perfect Podcasts

A Balancing Act:  My friend Analisa Leaming‘s podcast is one of my FAVORITES.  The season finale episode with life coach Beth Clayton was so good, I listened a 2nd time with a pen and paper to take notes.   Analisa interviews various creatives and friends who are actively working and engaged in the NYC performing scene.  She asks them all sorts of great questions about their process, their fears and triumphs and how they aspire to their own ‘balancing act’.

What Should I Read Next:  My favorite episode this month found Anne interviewing Mallory Rees, who was looking for books for her honeymoon reading.  I loved both her and Anne’s choices– Rees’ reading tastes and style preferences were most up my alley of all the podcasts this month.

On Being with Krista Tippett:  Spirituality of Imagination with Martin Sheen:  I absolutely loved Tippett’s conversation with the phenomenal actor Martin Sheen.  I had no idea of his intense Catholic faith, his many arrests for peaceful protest and so much more gleaned in this fascinating interview.

Blogisphere Beauts

Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2016 Summer Reading Guide

22 Things Every Woman Needs In Her Life at The Art of Simple

The Relationship Between Consuming & Producing  at The Art of Simple

How I Read 200 Books A Year by Claire Diaz-Ortiz {This is an older post I discovered this month.  I love learning new reading techniques from fellow voracious readers!


Southern Delight


We took a quick, lovely weekend trip to see my husband’s family.  We saw my nephew graduate from high school and celebrated my hubby’s birthday.  We also attended Sunday services  in the most charming country church, where God unexpectedly ministered deeply to my heart that as of late, is quite jaded by some relationships in my own church community.

What I Watched & Listened To

I enjoyed the season finales of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and Blackish.  It was an odd and abrupt series finale end for Nashville, but I read online that multiple networks are vying for the show, so perhaps the show will continue on.  My husband and I went to see both the new Captain America movie (loved it) and The Angry Birds Movie.  (Meh, but funny.)

On Netflix, I continued my binge-watching-obsession of The West Wing.  I loved the first 2 seasons, and the 3rd one was decent, but not my favorite. {Except for C.J’s storyline with her secret service agent detail – Mark Harmon in his heartthrob days!}.  Music-wise,  I added a few songs per usual to my 2016 Spotify playlist, and started diving into the 1934 original score of Anything Goes in rehearsals.

 Work By Design Summit

It seems to me that hosting online e-courses, webinars and summits is the thing the online cool kids do these days.  I really LOVED taking part in Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s Work By Design Summit.  She released at least 3 videos per day for 2 weeks, which stayed live and free for 48 hours.  I took literally PAGES and PAGES of notes, and am still processing all the wisdom.   Favorite interviews included productivity guru Chris Bailey, paleo chef and entrepreneur Mary Shenouda, HopeWriter’s and online course genius Brian Dixon and of course, the delightful Emily Freeman – one of my favorite authors.  {I also loved that Claire resonated so deeply with Emily’s video, and plugged it heavily in her keynote.  I’ve been devouring Emily’s wisdom and words for awhile now – I love that others are now learning more from her.}  {If you’re interested, the entire slew of video content, along with an online e-course and bonus freebies are available for purchase here.  This series of interviews and content piqued my interest in Claire’s books,  The Better Life and Design Your Day.


If you are visiting this blog from my YouTube channel – WELCOME! I’m glad you’re here! I’m continuing to churn out content on my YouTube channel on essential oils, favorites and other fun lifestyle topics as much as I can this summer.  I shared on the average two videos a week – I’d like to share more in the coming months.   I also celebrated my first subscriber goal on my channel with my first giveaway!  Check out my May Favorites Video below.  {I do my best to share new favorite content in my videos that you won’t see on the blog – enjoy!}


What I Ate

As I scrolled through my photo feed this month, I realized it was a yummy month for good eats.


The first weekend of May, our wonderful friends Mark & Marlie,who happen to be fellow foodies, came over for Sunday dinner.   Marlie whipped up some homemade brushetta with fresh basil from her garden–it was SCRUMPTIOUS!


I experienced some tasty southern vittles with my husband and in-laws on a Sunday afternoon.  I had quite possibly my best taste of a fried green tomato.  Other delicious side dishes included creamy  mashed potatoes and gravy and deviled eggs that were worth the extra vacation calories!  I thought the menu and the slogan of the restaurant were fun.


I have been constantly making a particularly tasty salad dressing recipe in the Fixate Cookbook, by the 21 Day Fix Creator & Fitness Guru, Autumn Calabrese.  This tangy honey mustard dressing is so easy to make, doesn’t scimp on taste, and is quick and easy to make.  {The linked recipe is from the Beachbody website and is 99% accurate – sub in rice vinegar for apple cider vinegar for the specific Fixate recipe.}

What I’m Looking Forward to in June

Enjoying the rehearsal weeks and  performing of Anything Goes, reading all the summer books, hanging out more with my husband and friends and working on my writing and YouTube channel.

What were YOU into this May?

{As always, Leigh’s linkup is a favorite. Any affiliate links in this post benefit the production on ye olde blog – thank you kindly!}

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