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What I’m Into ~ June 2015 Edition

What I'm Into ~ June 2015 Edition

 

Happy July, friends! Are y’all having a good summer so far? I’m wishing that these summer days would slow down a little. It feels like it is flying by much faster than I’d like – but I guess that’s just a challenge to be present and soak it all in!

 

It’s that time again – time to join the lovely Leigh Kramer in rounding up what we’ve been into in June. I love checking out all the awesome blog posts to find new ideas for books to read, movies to watch, and things to enjoy! Grab a glass of lemonade, curl up in the air condition, and check them out!

 

 Pretty Things ~

 

I could give up shopping, but I'm not a quitter! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I saw this sign at a local consignment boutique, and I just had to snap a picture for Instagram!

 

Purple GUESS booties ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

And speaking of consignment stores, I found these purple GUESS booties on clearance at one of my favorite local consignment shops for only $8! They were begging me to bring them home – and I just couldn’t resist! Now I can’t wait for cooler weather so I can wear them!

 

Vintage train case turned into a makeup case! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

 

I’ve been looking for a better way to store my makeup. I don’t have very much in the way of cosmetics, but I was outgrowing my little antique bowl. I hated that brushes and blush would fall out of the container, and it was leaving me feeling disorganized – which is not now I want to start the day.

 

I started browsing Pinterest for ideas, but nothing seemed to fit my needs. It was then that I remembered a vintage train cases! Many of them had small mirrors and trays – perfect for a retro woman on-the-go! I found this one on eBay. It’s faux leather, and in awesome condition! Someone replaced the fabric in the bottom of the case – it’s rather groovy now – but once I set my plastic tiered organizer inside, I couldn’t see it any more. It’s been the perfect solution to my makeup organizing woes. It has plenty of room for my small-ish collection, and a little more room to grow. *Wink* And I couldn’t be more thrilled!

 

Date night decisions - boots or wedges? ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

We had a couple of date nights this month! I sent out a plea for help on Facebook and Instagram one night when I couldn’t decide which shoe to wear to our mystery date with a group of friends from church. I ended up picking the boots because I learned that our date was outside, and I didn’t want to be teetering around in heels when I didn’t know what we were going to do. We ended up going to an awesome little airport that also has a restaurant attached. We watched bi-planes take off and land as we devoured burgers and visited. What fun! Have you ever been on a mystery date?

 

What I’m Read in June~

 

Scary Close, by Donald Miller – I was excited to finally get my hands on his newest book! I’m introverted by nature, and tend to be pretty guarded – too guarded – to protect myself from the hurt of others, but this helped me to see that I am not gaining anything by keeping people from getting close to me. It was an eye-opener, for sure!

 

Still Alice ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova – Wow. This one really got to me. I felt as though I was getting an unveiled look into what it must be like to have Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m a stickler for reading the book before seeing the movie, so now I’m excited to finally see the film soon!

 

The Life-Chaging Magic of Tidying Up ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo – Now I know what all the fuss was about! This was a fabulous little book – so challenging and inspiring! I wasn’t even through the book yet when I purged a large portion of my closet. I have been hanging on to clothes and jewelry that I never wear. Even though my things were well organized, I didn’t realize how much the “clutter” of having more things than I need was affecting me. I love walking into my newly purged closet and seeing ONLY the clothes that I enjoy wearing. There’s also something much less stressful about knowing that whatever you pull out of your closet is going to feel good, look good, and boost your confidence.

 

Dear Mr. Knightley, by Katherine Reay – This had been sitting on my Kindle for several months, but it wasn’t until my friend Crystal from Money Saving Mom recommended this book to me that I finally started reading it. It was perfect to read by the pool when the boys began swimming lessons. It was heartwarming, thoughtful, and kept me engaged through the last page. It was just light and fluffy enough for summer, while inspiring me as a writer!

 

 

Reading in July ~

 

What I'm Reading - June 2015  justoneoftheboys.com

 

Love Walked In, by Marisa de los Santos – I’ve spent the last 10 nights trying to read this book before bed, but I kept falling asleep and losing my place! I picked it up this morning on our way out the door for swimming lessons, and by the time our hour was up, I thought the story was pretty promising!

 

The Husband’s Secret, by Liane Moriarty – I finished (and LOVED) Big Little Lies over Memorial weekend, and decided to dive into this one in July!

 

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – I keep hearing over and over again what a wonderful book this is – so I used our Audible credit for the audio version to listen to this month! I recently watched Chimamanda give a commencement speech online, and was so moved, that I had to move it up on my to-read list!

 

Stories I Only Tell My Friends, by Rob Lowe – I’ve had this one on my radar for a while. I enjoy celebrity memoirs, and I’ve heard this one is especially good. I remembered recently while ordering other books from the library – so I just added it to the ever-growing stack. So many books, so little time!

 

The Kill Artist, by Daniel Silva – This one comes highly recommended by my friend Ashley. She loves spy books, and it sounds like this is the first one in the series. I loved the Bourne books, so I’m excited to step into this series!

 

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness – Our oldest has to do a book report over the summer and hand it in when he starts middle school in August. The book has to be over 150 pages, have literary merit, and be written between 2005 – 2015. We looked up lists of the best YA books, and this one piqued his interest. He flew through it, and was excited to get started on his book report – so I had to add it to my list to read this month!

 

Feathering My Nest ~

 

I finally tackled our middle son’s room this month. I’d only put it off for nearly *cough* four years *cough*! I had procrastinated because the former owners had put up a wallpaper border (blue flowers, btw) near the ceiling, and THEN painted the rest of the walls up to the line of the wallpaper. When I steamed and removed the flower border, it left a definite and unsightly line of demarcation.

 

That’s when I got out the spackle and filled in the area around the line, and the other areas that needed a quick layer.

 

Boy's room mid-project - rock wall, hanging ladder ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

Then I sanded the whole room – and ended up with gray hair to show for it! Thankfully it washed right now. Whew!

 

DIYers gone wild! Gray hair! ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I put up a few paint samples around his room, and let him choose his favorite. He chose this gorgeous color from Benjamin Moore – Hudson Bay.

 

I love Benjamin Moore colors, but I’ve always been so impressed with the durability and coverage of Behr’s Ultra primer and paint in one, so I had it mixed at Home Depot. I finished it in one day, and applied a few touch-ups the next morning before moving his furniture back into place. Now he has a brand new room!

 

And look how good his Ninja Warrior equipment looks against the new wall color!

 

Navy blue boy's room! A rock wall and a hanging ladder are a great way for little boys to get out their energy! Benjamin Moore Hudson Bay ~ justoneoftheboys.com

 

I’ll be sharing more about Aiden’s room makeover soon! Next up, Quinn’s room is going to get a fresh new look! I just might get started weekend!

 

What about you?

 

What have you been up to lately? Have you read any good books? Watched a fantastic movie? I can’t wait to hear about it!

 

As always, thank you so much for spending a little bit of your day with me. Your encouragement and comments mean the world to me! You can also find me on FacebookInstagramPinterest, and Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Until next time,

*Hugs*

~ G

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What I’m Into ~ March 2015 Edition

Is it really that time again? The month of March has come to an end, and we’re back with the lovely Leigh Kramer and sharing what we’ve been into this past month! Are y’all ready for spring? As much as I love boot and leggings weather, I’m pretty happy to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and soak up the feeling of everything being new and fresh again!

 

What have you been into this month? I just love seeing what everyone is reading, watching, and up to! Call me nosey! I’m always looking for a new movie or series to watch with my Beloved, or on my own for some much-needed girl time! And I love adding to my GoodReads list with new books to devour. Are we GoodReads buddies yet? I hope so!

 

So here’s what I’ve been into this month…

 

Spending time outside ~

 

Since the weather has warmed up, everything is getting green and lovely again! I’ve been perching with a book on my bench outside while I listen to the boys play basketball in the driveway or ride their bikes. I love this time of year… until my allergies hit! Ahhhhhh…CHOO! Have you found anything to help with seasonal allergies? I’m trying Claritin this year, but I’m thinking I might have to get out the dreaded NetiPot!

 

What I'm Into

 

Taking Back My Health ~

 

In preparation for my 34th birthday coming up this month, I decided to tackle the 30 Day Shred and 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene! I shared a few of my thoughts on the first week earlier this week… Will this help me welcome the next year with a bang, or will it kill me first?!

 

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Read in March ~

 

I’m a little in awe of how many books I read this past month. I had been feeling a little homesick for diving into good books, and I spent quite a bit of time getting back to one of my first loves – reading. I felt like I had been given an IV and felt so much more refreshed, invigorated, and like myself when I give myself time to read. Do you know what I mean, or am I just a weirdo? Anybody? Bueller? Nevermind. *wink*

 

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I have been waiting my whole life for this book! I can’t tell you how much I loved reading her original Pioneer Girl manuscript, and the added notes on each page that went into deeper detail of the history of Little House and the interaction between Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane.

 

Pioneer Girl, by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born to Win, Christine Caine – An amazing friend mailed me her copy after she read it, knowing how much this book would touch my heart. I could have underlined every word. There were so many areas that were convicting, encouraging, and inspiring – and it really lit a fire in my heart!

 

Unstoppable

 

Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker – This one had been on my radar for quite a while. I put out a plea on Facebook to see if any local friends had it to borrow, and people ended up suspecting that I was pregnant! Yikes! A dear friend sent me a copy, and I have really treasured my early morning quiet time reading this sweet book every morning. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have been recommending it to every mom I know! This would be a PERFECT Mother’s Day gift for the special ladies in your life!

 

Surprised by Motherhood - an awesome book by Lisa-Jo Baker

 

Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker

 

On Writing, by Stephen King – I read this back in 2013, but decided that it was time for a refresher. I loved this book EVEN MORE this second time through it. I am a very new King fan. I’ve never read any of his scary books. I started 11/22/63 a while back, but had to take it back to the library before I got into it, but I think I’m going to give it another try soon! His years of honing his craft, the advice for new writers, and learning more about his life was surprisingly both entertaining and inspiring!

 

On Writing

 

Fooling Houdini, by Alex Stone – I’ve always been curious about magic. I mostly flipped through this book before I had to take it back to the library. I found his explanations pretty interesting, and I’d love to know more about the way our brains see what they want to see when it comes to illusions!

 

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty – I’ve seen this pop up on many to-read lists recently, and it was finally my turn on the library hold list. She had some really crazy stories about working in cremation!

 

I’ll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich – Shauna Niequest recommended this in a recent blog post, and I was excited to see it available at our library. This lady is the fashion guru to the NYC elite, and she has led a fascinating life.

 

Astonish Me, by Maggie Shiptstead – I always love learning more about the world of ballet. This story jumps around to different dears and lives that all intertwine. There’s a love triangle, drug use, depression, and the Nutcracker. Kinda crazy. I skimmed through the last few chapters, wanting to know how it turned out, but not wanting to read through every single line. I’ve been in the mood for more comedy lately, and this one just wasn’t cutting it.

 

The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You, by Jessica N. Turner – This was another great book! I loved reading it at night and thinking about how I can better use the “fringe hours” in my own life as I fell asleep at night. I’ve already recommended it to a friend, and I’m sure that my copy will be out on loan quite a bit!

 

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart about Money, by Ron Lieber – A very different look at teaching kids about money! Loved mulling over different ideas and talking with my Beloved about them. I think this is one we should get for our collection someday. I was sad to take it back to the library!

 

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins – I listened to half of this book while I was on a road trip by myself, and then I finished it while going on walks or doing the dishes after the boys were in bed. It’s in the same family as Gone Girl, but not quite as messed up. If you’re looking for a page-turning thriller, this is a good place to start!

 

The Middle Place, by Kelly Corrigan – This is the first book I’ve read from Kelly Corrigan. I really enjoyed her Medium Foreword interview series, and I wanted to get to know HER a little better. I’d heard awesome things about this book before, but I had avoided it because it dealt with cancer. Because of how cancer came into our family, I hadn’t wanted to “go there” just yet, but I’m really glad I went ahead and read her story.

 

Help Me, Jesus! I Have Nothing to Wear!: The Go-To Guide for All Shapes and Sizes, by Shari Braendel – A fun look at clothes, fit, and color! This stuff fascinates me. I love the science behind why our bodies are the shape that we are, and why color does or doesn’t work on a certain skin tone. With my olive-ish complexion and a straight up and down shape (complete with a bit of a muffin top), and it can be difficult to find the exact shade or fit for my body. I loved her explanations and ideas on new colors. It is easy for me to get stuck in a rut – but she inspired me to shop my own closet and use things in new ways!

 

 

Reading in April ~

 

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – I saw my friend Andrea reading this a few weeks ago and it piqued my interest!

 

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I can’t believe that I’ve never read Margaret Atwood, but I recently watched her interview with Medium Foreword, and decided that I had to remedy that in April!

 

Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

 

Glitter and Glue, by Kelly Corrigan

 

Unfamiliar Fishes, by Sarah Vowell

 

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

 

 

Screen Time ~

 

This month my Beloved and I watched House of Cards, Blacklist, and March Madness! I’m a Kansas Jayhawk fan, so I was pretty disappointed when they were knocked out by our in-state rivals Wichita State University. Humbug.

 

I finally got around to watching Capote. Philip Seymore Hoffman is beyond amazing in it.

 

I tried to watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I fell asleep. It seemed to interesting that maybe I’ll give it another shot this month when I’m not so tired.

 

On the Blog ~

 

I shared a very personal and painful look at forgiveness

 

Forgiveness

 

 

I shared my very first VLOG with you and asked for your help

 

We talked about what THEY don’t tell you about parenting

 

What They Don't Tell You - Parenting Over the Years

 

 

I shared 7 simple ways to help when a friend is hurting

 

Dear Ginger

 

Gave you a peek into a day in the life of a #BoyMom

 

It takes a lot more than that to scare me - I have boys!

 

 

And had fun designing several #boymom photos! (Click here to see more!)

 

Yes, I do have my hands full... #boymom

 

If I step on one more LEGO, so help me... #boymom

 

Put your weapons down and eat your breakfast! #boymom

 

No, Mommy doesn't have one of those... #boymom

 

 

What About YOU?

 

I’d love to know what you’ve been up to this month! Have you read any good books? Watched a must-see movie? I’d love to hear all about it!

You can find me here, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest! I’d love to connect with you!

 

Wishing you an exquisite month of April!

*Hugs*

 

~ Ginger

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What I’m Into ~ February 2015 Edition

What I'm Into February 2015 Edition

It’s that time again! Time to link up with the lovely Leigh Kramer and dish about books, movies, and so much more of what we’ve been into in February!

 

What I’ve Been Into ~

Time with friends.

A friend and I went to see Nadia Bolz-Weber speak at Bethanny College this month!

I also had coffee with a treasured friend recently, and came away with my heart so encouraged.

And I enjoyed a monthly dinner with a group of women that have become such gifts in my life. We are memorizing the first chapter of James together as a group – and check out the cute bookmarks our friend Ashley made to help us during the month!

Bible Verses

 

Copper mugs.

My Beloved gave me a beautiful set of copper mugs for Valentine’s Day. Copper. It’s my love language. And so are Girl Scout cookies.

copper mug

 

Taking better care of myself.

I came up with a list of 101 ways to take a little time for ourselves – and each week I am focusing on 5 simple and free (or nearly free) ways that I can do just that. It’s helping me in so many ways!

Click on the photo to receive YOUR free copy!

 

101 Ways

 

Counting my blessings.

I recently began writing down or taking pictures of three things I am grateful for throughout the day. I love my little Gratefulness journal from my friend in Zambia!

African journal

 

What I’ve Been Reading ~

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott – Perfection. Enough said.

Books that Stick ~ Bird by Bird

 

The Ship of Brides, by Jojo Moyes – I’ll be finishing this one up over the weekend. I didn’t know much about the war brides from Australia in WWII before reading this story. Me Before You is still my favorite book by Jojo Moyes, but I still enjoyed this one!

 

Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs – My Beloved and I have been reading this aloud to each other, and it has been so helpful to understand how each of us perceives love from one another!

 

Shoal of Time, by Gavan Daws – I’ve learned way more about Hawaiian history than I ever thought possible. The stories and the legends about these beautiful islands are captivating.

 

The Betrayal of Liliuokalani: Last Queen of Hawaii, by Helena Allen – Queen Liliuokalani has become one of my heroes. She led a fascinating life, and I wish that more people knew about this incredible lady!

 

An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, by Barbara Brown Taylor – This was my first Barbara Brown Taylor book, and I enjoyed the reverent and intentional look at faith as I read it each morning during my quiet time.

 

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography, by Neil Patrick Harris – I’ve been a fan of NPH for a long time, and his “choose your own adventure” approach to writing his memoir was refreshing and so entertaining!

 

Reading in March ~

Surprised by Motherhood, by Lisa-Jo Baker – This one has been on my radar for quite a while. I put out a plea on Facebook to see if any local friends had it to borrow, and people ended up suspecting that I was pregnant! Yikes!

 

The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – I can’t believe that I’ve never read Margaret Atwood, but I recently watched her interview with Medium Foreword, and decided that I had to remedy that in March!

 

On Writing, by Stephen King – I read this back in 2013, but decided that it was time for a refresher. I am continuing my quest to do my “homework” each month and read/learn more about writing.

 

Fooling Houdini, by Alex Stone – I’ve always been curious about magic, and this book is supposed to reveal how we see/don’t see the tricks they are doing right under our nose.

 

The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett – I saw my friend Andrea reading this a few weeks ago and it piqued my interest!

 

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, by Caitlin Doughty – I’ve seen this pop up on many to-read lists recently, and it was finally my turn on the library hold list!

 

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett – Another story that has been on my radar for a while…

 

I’ll Drink to That, by Betty Halbreich – Shauna Niequest recommended this in a recent blog post, and I was excited to see it available at our library!

 

Screen Time ~

My Beloved and I watched the latest installment of The Hobbit (which I thought was so-so), The Imitation Game (Excellent!), and The Theory of Everything (Fantastic!).

We watched the Parks & Rec finale last night. *sniff*  I fell asleep for a few minutes and missed Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe, so I’ll be going back to watch that part!

Anybody else excited for the return of House of Cards this weekend?!

I mentioned earlier that I discovered Kelly Corrigan’s interview series Medium Foreword last week, and I quickly went through the few videos they have so far: B.J. Novak, Margaret Atwood, Jason Segel, Mary Roach, and Anne Lamott. I read somewhere that an interview with Nicholas Kristof is coming up soon. That should be good!

 

What About You? ~

What have you been into this month? Read any good books? Watched a must-see movie? Anything I should check out on Netflix once we’ve devoured all of the new House of Cards season? I’d love to hear all about it!

 

Wishing you an exquisite month of March,

~ Ginger

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What I’m Into ~ January 2015 Edition

Hiya, Friends! It’s that time again – time to share in Leigh Kramer’s fabulous link-up – What I’m Into! I just love going through the other links and finding out what everyone has been reading, watching, eating, and into over the last month! I’ve found some of my new favorite blogs and people this way! So grab a fluffy blanket and a cup of tea, and let’s dish about January!

 

Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag!

My Beloved and our boys gave me an Etsy gift card for Christmas – and I finally found the perfect thing to get with it! It’s a purse/messenger bag that just happens to be made out of a coffee sack! I had another purse sort of similar, but it wasn’t as well-lined as this one. This one has pockets inside, plenty of room for my laptop, and a sturdy strap! I get compliments whenever I take it out – and I couldn’t be happier!

new purse

Check out the Etsy seller Sublime Surprises for more of her beautiful bags! Shipping was super fast, and she was a dream to work with!

 

Last Month’s Reading ~

 

January books

 

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen, by Queen Liliuokalani – Wow. I’m a history nerd, but I had no idea about the incredible life this woman lived! Definitely one of my favorite memoirs, and it has fueled my interest in learning more about Hawaiian history and culture!

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint, by Nadia Bolz-Weber – Y’all. Now I understand all the fuss around this book. This book is not for everyone, but I really enjoyed her rich storytelling and fresh look at life, pain, addiction, and the church! And guess what??? She’s coming to Kansas THIS WEEK!!! And guess where I’m going??? Yep! My friend Andrea and I are going to have a little mommy road trip to go listen to her speak, and I couldn’t be more excited! Some girl time with my wonderful friend AND getting to listen to Nadia speak – Sounds like an awesome night to me!

Plot and Structure, by James Scott Bell – I learned so much about structuring a story this month! I probably highlighted straight up half of this book for future reference, but I feel as though I have a better grasp and understanding of what goes into a GOOD story, and why some things tend to work while others don’t work.

Essentialism, by Greg Mckeown – While I learned quite a bit about analyzing whether or not things in my life are essential, it wasn’t my favorite read of the month. I wanted so much to love this book – but it just didn’t hit it out of the park for me.

The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield – I breezed through this one. Full of quotes to get you fired up about living creatively, it was fine – but it’s probably not going to be one of my all-time favorites.

 

February’s Reading ~

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott – I’m continuing my quest to grow and learn as a writer. You can’t go wrong with Saint Anne! Every time I read her book I learn something new, and I’m already absorbing new things as I’m only a few chapters into it!

Books that Stick ~ Bird by Bird

 

The Ship of Brides, by Jojo Moyes – My friend Jan (Hi, Friend!) lent me her copy of this book yesterday at PE class. I love everything else that I’ve read from the author of Me Before You, so I’m excited to get started!

Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs – I mentioned HERE that my Beloved and I are re-reading this one together.

Shoal of Time, by Gavan Daws – A history of Hawaii, this one looks captivating!

The Betrayal of Liliuokalani: Last Queen of Hawaii, by Helena Allen – I’m telling you, I can’t get enough of this Queen. Her life was fascinating, and I can’t wait to learn more about this brave woman!

Liliu08

And if I finish those books, I have plenty of books to dive into:

A Prayer for Owen Meany, Found, Hands Free Mama, Essentialism, Fooling Houdini, and more! So many books, so little time…

What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear all about it!

 

Screen Time ~

Like almost everyone else on my Facebook feed, I watched the Parenthood finale last night. *sniff, sniff*

My Beloved and I watched Unbroken and American Sniper. Both were pretty difficult to watch – American Sniper especially for this military wife. But I thought that both were very well done. I’ve read and enjoyed Unbroken, but I might see if I can borrow my dad’s copy of American Sniper to learn more about Chris Kyle’s life.

I watched the first part in the documentary A Path Appears this past week, and again my heart feels so burdened by the stories that Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn! I love seeing the work that people are doing all over the world to free women who are enslaved in trafficking, and I can’t wait to see what things are spotlighted next week.

 

On the Blog ~

(Just click on the photos below…)

This month we revamped a series – Take a Little Time for YOU!

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

My friend Tammy shared 25 things she learned in 25 years of marriage ~

25 Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Marriage

 

I shared a few of my favorite links from around the web ~

This & That

 

We began a new series – Yours, Mine & Ours: Blending Families. This first part in the series focused on my 10 Favorite Books on Remarriage and Blending Families!

Yours, Mine & Ours- Blending Families

 

I shared a peek into our family’s evening routine – that has become a memory that I will never forget. A big thank you to my friend Cara Meredith for letting me share it as a guest post over in her corner of the world!

A Mommy's Love - To Infinity... and Beyond

 

I shared this post from last year for my little man’s birthday ~

Camden

 

And I was thrilled to join my friend Alysha in a video chat/interview where we talked about being intentional with our families while in the midst of trials.

BE-INTENTIONAL-WITH-FAMILY

 

Screen Time ~

Like almost everyone else on my Facebook feed, I watched the Parenthood finale last night. *sniff, sniff*

My Beloved and I watched Unbroken and American Sniper. Both were pretty difficult to watch – American Sniper especially for this military wife. But I thought that both were very well done. I’ve read and enjoyed Unbroken, but I might see if I can borrow my dad’s copy of American Sniper to learn more about Chris Kyle’s life.

 

What About You?

What have you been up to this month? Found any must-read books? Anything on Netflix catch your eye? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

Wishing you a phenomenal February!

~ Ginger

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Take a Little Time… Take 2

Take a Little Time for You! header

 

Happy Monday, friends! How did last week treat you? How did you treat YOURSELF? I hope that you’re taking a little bit of time for you! I love that we have this little community!

For the most part, this week went much better. I ate breakfast most mornings, I put on real clothes, and I enjoyed a fun Mommy Playdate with some friends. The one thing that I am going to change this week is to have specific – very specific – goals. I didn’t exercise at all this past week, and that’s because I kept putting it off.

I’ll do it tomorrow. I have plenty of time. I’m too tired today. I’ll be sore if I do it now. I don’t want to get sweaty. Yeah, I’ll do it tomorrow. 

Sure enough, the whole week slipped by and because I didn’t have an actionable goal, I didn’t have to live up to it. This week I am trying something different – each of my goals are specific and measurable. And I am making sure that I exercise for at least 10 minutes each day. I have gained about 5-7 pounds – just an educated guess, I haven’t weighed myself to be sure. It’s not much – but for me that’s a whole jeans size. I’d really love to get back to where my clothes fit and I feel better about myself – and I think in order to do that, I’m going to need to set measurable and doable goals for myself.

Is there something like this in your own life? Like me, have you been setting vague goals for yourself? Are you willing to work WITH me this week? I’d love to know that I’m not alone!

 

Last week’s goals ~

  • ~  Keep hydrated with water and coconut waterThis week I’m gonna kick it up a notch and set definite goals.
  • ~  Eat a healthy breakfast/brunch each morning. I did a better job of this – remembering/making time to eat every morning except Sunday. I wish I had snapped a picture of the yummy spinach/egg bake that my Beloved made this week. Delish!
  • ~  Get my heart pumping at least 3 days each week with exercise. I was pretty abysmal at this over the past week. I didn’t work out once. I got up nice and early to have a little quiet time before things got crazy around the house. I’m changing up my routine a bit so that I can get back on track with getting/staying healthy.
  • ~  Get dressed in REAL CLOTHES and not stay in my comfy sweatsI shared this picture on Facebook and Instagram. Child: “THAT’S what you’re wearing to church?!” No, but it is what moms wear until exactly 12. 4965 seconds until they walk out the door because they are so busy getting everyone else ready. Am I right? *wink* We were visiting a new church yesterday – I’m sure a bathrobe would’ve made quite an impression!

 

IMG_8614

 

 

IMG_8610 2

  • ~  Do TWO things every day just for me – (listen to a podcast, read a book, play the piano)I read some great books, mostly. I also played the piano, baked an apple crisp to share with friends just because it sounded good, and watched an episode of Call the Midwife on Netflix
  • ~  Make an appointment to see my counselor.
  • ~  Plan a “Mommy Playdate” with other grown-upsI was in charge of the activity/lesson for our homeschool co-op group’s meeting just for moms this month – so I used this time to have a little fun! There were 13 of us, and we played a hilarious game of Apples to Apples together! It was so much fun to be playing a game with other grownups! 
  • ~  Make a list of free or inexpensive ways we can all take a little time for ourselves to share here on the blogYes!!! Look for more news about this very soon!

101 Ways

  • ~  Get up early enough (5:30-6:00AM most days) to have a quiet time before the day begins for the rest of the houseYawn… Yep! I was able to get out of bed early enough every morning except yesterday (Sunday) to have a quiet time before the rest of the house began stirring – which really gave my a boost to my whole day! I’ll be adding in the element of exercise this next week – so we’ll see how that goes! 
  • ~  Curl up in bed with a book and my Beloved by 10pm most nights to get a good night’s sleep. Are we GoodReads buddies yet? Find awesome books and check out what your friends are reading! 

 

This week’s goals ~

  • ~ Drink 60 oz. of water each day, and coconut water at least twice this week.
  • ~ Eat a healthy breakfast (or brunch) each morning.
  • ~ Remove my old polish and apply new polish to my tootsies.
  • ~ Clean out my purse.
  • ~ Put on real clothes during the work week – stay away from my comfy sweats until after supper or over the weekend.
  • ~ Take multivitamins each morning.
  • ~ Visit my counselor once this week.
  • ~ Work out for at least 10 minutes EACH day.
  • ~ Make more facial oil cleanser by Tuesday. I’m almost out!
  • ~ Do at least ONE thing every day just for myself – even if it’s just for a 5 minutes.

 

How About You? ~

I’ll be sharing even more of my progress on Facebook and Instagram this week, and I’d love it if you joined me. It would be way more fun with you! Let’s find a second to actually SIT DOWN today and just breathe. Let’s put our health, our hearts, and our heads back on the to-do list – and let’s start taking better care of ourselves today!

*Fist bump*

~ Ginger

 

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A Happier, Healthier You ~ December

A Happier Healthier You - justoneoftheboys.com

Hello, friends! How was your month of November? Were you able to find ways to take care of YOU? I didn’t follow through with all of my goals – but now I know the areas where I need to try a little harder. This isn’t just a pampering session – it’s a way that we can remember to put our needs back on the to-do list, so we can take better care of our loved ones!

Your encouragement, support, and stories of how you are caring for yourself really inspired and challenged me this month! Let’s keep it up!

Limiting Sugar ~

Last month I set the goal of limiting sugar during November. While this was a good goal, I think I need to be a little more specific with myself! I DID limit it, but maybe not as much as I should have.

I have completely stopped using sugars in my tea, and I have replaced it with local honey. I became used to the taste, and now I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t miss using raw sugar in my morning tea any more!

Simple Ways to Take Care of Yourself TODAY!

I did start craving sugar one day – and I decided to quietly roast a few mini-marshmallows over a candle in the kitchen. It was a good way to satisfy my craving without going overboard. I probably only had three or four total. Shhhh…don’t tell my boys!

A Happier Healthier December marshmallow

I had a few Chew Spree candies during a movie night on the couch, and made a yummy Cool-Whip fruity salad for my family’s Thanksgiving meal, and had a sliver of the pumpkin pie my Beloved made last week – but that’s about it as far as sugars go.

I could have been better, but I’m learning to be glad for the progress that I am making. I am my own worst critic, so I need to give myself grace when I don’t do as much as I think I should.

Last Month’s Goals ~

  • Stay hydrated with water and coconut water I did a pretty good job, but there is always room for improvement. Next month I’ll try to up my daily water intake.
  • Eat a healthy meal each morning I should probably define healthy. Some mornings I eat a grapefruit or oatmeal. Other days it’s more of a protein-ish brunch.

A Happier Healthier December breakfast

  • Buy myself new socks to wear with boots for the winter. Hmm… I still need to do this, and fast. Another pair (older than at least one of my kids) developed a hole in the heel – so I cut them up to make boot cuffs!
  • Get my heart pumping with exercise at least 4 times each week. I didn’t do so great at this either. 
  • Get up early most mornings to enjoy quiet alone time before the busy day begins I’m reading Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, The Best Yes, during my early morning quiet time. 
  • File my nails and care for my cuticles – and polish them with fun colors. I painted my nails a few fun colors last month! I need to be better at filing and cuticles in December.

What I'm Into Nov 1

  • LIMIT SUGAR 
  • Have board game nights with the boys We taught Quinn, our 6-year-old, how to play Battleship this month – and he wiped the floor with me! Battleship tournaments, Super Mario Bros. championships, and Multiplication War duels abounded this month! We’re a game-loving family – and looking for ideas for other great games to add to our collection this Christmas!  
  • Curl up in bed with a book by 10pm most nights I was able to be curled up in bed early most nights. I shared HERE about the wonderful books I read. Definitely check out my favorite book of the month

A Happier Healthier December Bella

  • Write two special posts for the blog: Not Wasted Time, and Chapter 12 of Our Story I shared how forever can finally begin. I also shared the next two chapters in Our Story. (Click on the photos to view each story…)

Once upon a time

Chapter 12 ~ My New Friend

Chapter 13

 

This Month’s Goals ~

  • Keep hydrated with water and coconut water!
  • Unplug, relax, and enjoy our long-awaited honeymoon in HAWAII!!!!
  • Get dressed in real clothes, and not stay in my comfy sweats.
  • Get my heart pumping at least 4 days each week with exercise.
  • Do at least one thing every day just for me – play the piano, listen to a podcast, take a walk, call a friend, etc.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast/brunch each morning.
  • Take better care of my nails and rough feet – the purple pumice sponge is coming back out!
  • Get up early most mornings to enjoy quiet alone time before the busy day begins.
  • Curl up in bed or on the Story Chair with a book by 10pm most nights.
  • Do something special with each of our boys individually. This will be a busy month, but I’d like to have individual time with them.

What About You?

How do you show yourself grace as you grow as a person?

Does your family have a favorite board game? I’d love your recommendations!

What small things are you doing to start taking care of YOU? I would love to hear all about it!

Who’s with me? I LOVE our little community of friends helping and encouraging each other to take a little time for ourselves! I would be so thrilled if you would come on this journey with me!

I’ll be sharing pictures of my progress, and of our Hawaiian vacation), on Instagram and Facebook throughout the month! And even Twitter, even though I’m still pretty new at tweeting! Have you signed up to have my new posts delivered straight to your inbox yet? Just go to the Subscribe Now section right under the picture  on the right – and type in your email address. You won’t miss a thing, and you will make my whole day! It’s as easy as that!

Let’s get back to taking better care of our bodies, hearts, and minds – so we can better care for those that we love! Let’s finish out this year healthier than ever!

*hugs*

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A Happier, Healthier You ~ Week #22

A Happier Healthier You - justoneoftheboys.com

How are you, my friends? Are you finding ways to take care of yourself? Are you having coffee with a friend this week? Tackling a project around the house? Reading a good book? I would love to hear how you are giving a little time back to yourself this week!

One of the things on my goal list last week was to make body butter lotion out of coconut oil. I have loved what coconut oil is doing to my dry skin, but it was difficult for me to scoop out a little of the melted oil from the bottom of the narrow glass jar. I had to figure out a solution!

When I began using coconut oil on my face, I used refined oil because it didn’t have a scent. I wanted smooth skin without smelling like Miss Hawaiian Tropics! 😉 I read several places that unrefined coconut oil is actually much better for you – so I decided to give it a whirl.

I found a shorter/wider glass jar at Hobby Lobby for $2.99 (plus the weekly 40% coupon), and I was all set!

Week #22b

I initially put the full jar of coconut oil into the mixer and turned it to high. The oil melted and didn’t whip! I called my trusty and knowledgable friend Joanne, and she advised me to put the melted oil into the refrigerator until it had solidified. It didn’t take long to harden, and then I returned the oil to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, I mixed on medium-high for a few minutes. I watched as it turned into a thick lotion!

Week #22c

The jar has been sitting on my bathroom shelf since I made it last week, and it hasn’t once turned back to liquid! I love reaching into the jar and slathering on the yummy oil!

A Happier, Healthier You ~ Week #22

Honestly, it doesn’t have a strong scent – just the lightest hint of coconut. I can most definitely live with that! It doesn’t compete with my favorite Japanese Cherry Blossom lotion or perfume when I want to wear them. My skin only feels oily for the first couple of minutes as it soaks in, but then I’m left with soft and healthy-feeling skin all day! I’ve been reapplying the oil at night – just like I used to do with my old Neutrogena body oil – and I feel and smell nice as I’m going to bed!

My friend Bee told me that if you add a little Shea butter to the mixture, it stays solid and is even creamier. I didn’t have any on hand, but this sounds like a lovely thing to try!  It didn’t cost much – only the jar and oil – and I think that I’ll end up saving money on beauty products while I’m treating my skin to something a little more natural! Ahhhhh… *happy sigh*

What do you think? Would you be willing to try making your own coconut oil butter? Have you ever made your own? I’d love to hear all about it!

 Last Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay better hydrated with water, sea salt water, and coconut water.
  • Continue working out at least four times this weekI tried a new (to me) Nike running skirt this week. I recently found it half-off the tag price at Goodwill. For being such a bargain, I had to give it a try! I felt a little funny doing my downward-dog push-ups in it, but it really does cover everything with the built-in shorts! 

Week #22h

  • Try drinking Nighty Night tea, using Nighty Night Badger Balm, and Stress Away EO to see if I can sleep better at nightI’m brewing my cup of tea right now!
  • Write. Write. WriteAn idea came to me while I was away from the house without my laptop AND my notebook that I usually keep with me. What’s a girl to do when inspiration strikes? Write on the back of a kiddo’s Sunday School papers found in the bottom of my purse. Ooops! 🙂 Next time, I’m keeping my notebook in my purse!
  • Finish putting our master bathroom back together and share on the blog. I shared a few pictures on Facebook and Instagram this weekend of the progress, and now it’s ready to take final reveal pictures to share with you! Quinn approves of our new fluffy towels

Week #22f

  • Decide on the next deployment project to keep me busyHere’s a pic I shared on Instagram yesterday of what I wore to church (black maxi dress tied in the front, scarf from Afghanistan, and gladiator-esque sandals – it felt like a toga!), and behind me you can see the hints for my next couple deployment projects!

Week #22g

  • Whip up coconut oil for easier use and find a shorter jar to keep it inLove!!! Seriously – it was so easy, and makes applying it to my skin so much easier!
  • Enjoy a little sugar in my tea each morning, but don’t overindulge in sweets. I don’t think I pigged out, but I had more sugar than I normally do – but tiramisu with a friend and a little raw sugar in my Earl Grey tea each morning sure was yummy! 
  • Try to sneak in a little long-distance date with my Beloved. *crossing fingers for a good internet connection*  I love our long-distance dates! Quinn wanted to make silly faces into the camera as we were waiting for Daddy Joe to call us. 

Week #22a

I snapped this pic before my Beloved left on deployment – He bought these for us to work through together while he was gone this summer. We have been having such a good time comparing our funny answers, and learning more about each other! I would highly recommend doing them with YOUR beloved for a date night, or even when you have to be apart!
Week #22i

  • Curl up in bed or on the Story Chair by 2200 most nights with a book or TV show to wind down from the dayYep! Been curled up in bed by 2200 most nights – unwinding with an episode of Orange is the New Black. I think I’ll try relaxing with something less stressful…as soon as I finish Season Two!

This Week’s Goals ~

  • Stay hydrated!
  • Exercise at least 4 times this week.
  • Continue using Nighty Night Tea, Badger Balm, and EO before bed to help me sleep better.
  • Write. Write. Write.
  • Finish my next deployment project – Yikes. I’m kind of dreading it already!
  • Sit and watch a movie for my own enjoyment – No superhero or animated movies allowed!
  • See my counselor, talk to her about dealing with stress while my Beloved is away, and discuss reinforcing healthy boundaries in my life.
  • Enjoy girl time with my Tribal Woman this weekend.
  • Read Boundaries, by Cloud & Townsend.
  • Curl up in bed or on the Story Chair by 2200 most nights to rest and relax before bed.

How are you taking a little time for yourself? I would love to keep in touch this week as we work together to take better care of ourselves! You can find me on Facebook and  Instagram, and don’t forget to check out our Pinterest group board ~ Taking Care of Ourselves!

Let’s do this, my friends! I’m going to try really hard to take better care of myself while my Beloved is deployed, but I could use your help. We can take just a little time to care for ourselves, and we’ll be stronger wives, moms, and friends because of it! You’re not alone… We can do this together!

*hugs*

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What I’m Into ~ June 2014 Edition

What I'm Into ~ June 2014 Edition

I’m sorry for being a little late with my What I’m Into post! I’ve been keeping busy with, well… what I’ve been into this month! As always, I’m linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer and sharing a quick review of the month of June. Be sure to check out the other links in this series – it’s always my favorite part of the blogging month!

 Deployment Project #1 – Removing Wallpaper

Much of what I’ve been into this month has revolved around deployment projects. I am trying to keep my mind and hands busy while my Beloved is away this summer. The first big project on my list was removing the gray striped wallpaper in our master bathroom! We have been wanting to tear it off the walls since the day we moved in – so this was an easy pick for my first big project.

Removing wallpaper - justoneoftheboys.com

Our steamer made easy work of removing the striped paper. Even Aiden wanted in on the action. He was a big help!

My wallpaper removing helper! - justoneoftheboys.com

In the end, I settled on Benjamin Moore’s Dark Pewter – and I L-O-V-E it! The darkest gray with a hint of blue and green…mwah! It needs a few touch ups, but this is the view that I woke up to this morning. I believe that our new bathroom and I will get along beautifully. I can’t wait to show you more – stay tuned for a full reveal!

Dark Pewter ~ justoneoftheboys.com

Time with Friends ~

This month my beautiful Kiwi friend Joanne came to visit – and even had me color her hair. Yikes! She didn’t turn out bald, and she’s still speaking to me – so I’d say it was a success! I also went out to sushi, saw a Shakespeare in the Park play, and saw The Fault in Our Stars with my sister and friends. I soaked up this girl time like a sponge!

Joanne and Ginger 2

I’ve had wonderful messages from friends and family telling me that they’re thinking of me, praying for Joe, and letting me know that I am loved – and that has meant the world to me! Thank you so much!

Deployment Project # – Get Healthy!

Exercise, staying hydrated, and clean eating have been big priorities for me this month! I get up early most mornings and attack the day by doing AKT in Motion 10 minute workouts. Streaming them on my laptop in my living room, I start off with Anna Kaiser’s fun dance cardio workout, then work on my arms, and then I finish by working on my abs. By the end of the 30 minutes, I am drenched in sweat – but it feels so good!

Week #20 b

Anna Kaiser Technique

The boys and I are keeping up with our running most days. We don’t run far, but it sure is nice to be working through the miles once more!

Running

The combination of AKT workouts, running, and clean eating is making me see changes in my body. My shoulders have more definition, my waist is slimming, and I am feeling so much stronger.

Workout softened

Currently Reading ~

Love Does, by Bob Goff ~ I am loving my morning quiet time book…

Love Does, by Bob Goff ~ justoneoftheboys.com

Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich ~ I look forward to each new Stephanie Plum book, and this year’s release is not disappointing! I’m not quite finished with it, but it has all of the wonderful ingredients for a thrilling ride with everyone’s favorite bounty hunter!

Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich ~ justoneoftheboys.com

On the Blog ~

We have had wonderful In Her Shoes guest posts! I love hearing how this series is touching lives all over the world. A big thank you to each of our guests sharing their exquisite stories with us! Be sure to check them out by clicking on the photos…

In Her Shoes ~ The Broken Shoes

 

In Her Shoes ~ The Invisible Battles

In Her Shoes ~ Finding Joy in Motherhood

In Her Shoes ~ Suffering in Silence - justoneoftheboys.com

I also shared a behind the scenes look into how & why I write, and a peek into what I’m working on…

Behind the Scenes ~ My Writing Process

That about wraps it up in my little corner of the world… I need to go do a little paint touch up before I head to bed. Thank you so much for visiting me today!

I’d love to know what you’ve been into this month! What are you reading? Have you seen any good movies lately? How are you keeping busy this summer? I’d love to hear all about it! I love to make new Facebook buddies! You can also find me on Instagram & Pinterest. Won’t you be my neighbor? 🙂

Wishing you a fabulous July…

*hugs*

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What I’m Into ~ April 2014 Edition

Nooooo! It can’t be the end of April already! Spring is flying by too quickly for our family. We have only one more month before my Beloved will be deployed again. It’s time to find out if the cars will need an oil change while he’s gone, make plans to keep the kids and myself busy this summer, start planning cookie care packages, and so much more.

Even though the end of a month takes us closer to deployment, I am excited to once more be linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into link party!

My birthday was this month, and I had a wonderful time celebrating with my family! I made my very first Pavlova as my birthday dessert, and even though it cracked in the oven, it was scrumptious!

Week 12 f

Week 12 g

After we finished eating our meal of carnitas tacos and Pavlova, my family gave me the gift of a lifetime! I opened up my card, and it revealed my birthday surprise. *happy Snoopy dance!*

I can’t wait to share it with you soon, but for now I’ll show you the room that will be getting a big makeover because of it!

Dining Room

My Beloved took me to my very first Air Force Ball this month! I had a wonderful time dressing up with him, experiencing all of the history and tradition, and meeting his co-workers.

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Fashion ~

Are y’all on Instagram? I have loved joining up with the #stylemeapril challenge, where they give you outfit challenges for each day of the month. It’s so much fun – and you can play along, too! It sure helps me to get out of my pajama fashion rut! I just saw the #stylememay challenges for this coming month, and I’m excited to jump in again! I hope that you’ll join in the fun with me!

BTW…All of my clothes are easy, kid-proof, and bargains!

What I Wore 6

What I'm Wearing 3

What I'm Wearing1

What I'm Wearing2

World Market Tunic

What I Wore 1

What I Wore 2

“Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes.

You can do anything, but lay offa my blue suede shoes!”

What I Wore 4

What I read in April ~

To Be a Friend is Fatal, by Kirk W. Johnson – What I read of it was very good, but we are getting too close to deployment for me to go to bed reading about body armor and mortar shells. I kept it on my GoodReads list so I can come back to it once my Beloved is back home again.

What Matters in Jane Austen, by John Mullen – This book is for the hard-core Austenite! Chapters on why age and weather matter in Jane Austen’s books, it goes deep into trivia that had never before crossed my mind. A little on the dry side, I mostly browsed my way through it, but it was still a fun read.

Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell – Wow. Just wow. My first Rainbow Rowell book, her characters left a deep impression on my heart.

Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery – As I mentioned last month, I want to focus on re-reading favorite books throughout the year. For April, I chose to revisit everyone’s favorite “Anne-Girl.” It was like reconnecting with an old friend. Reading it as a grown up made me notice things differently about the story than I ever had before.

Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet

 

~ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer – I listened to this sweet story on my road trip a couple of weeks ago. Listening to this story was such a delight, and I would highly recommend it – reading or listening!

~ Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan – This was another audio book that I listened to on a road trip this past weekend. Hilarious and so much fun to listen to the author read his own work. I laughed out loud so many times as he perfectly described marriage, parenthood, and family.

Reading in May ~

~ The Duke’s Obsession, by Frances Fowlkes – This book is written by my friend! I am so proud of her, and of the hard work that she has put into her writing over the years. Rejoicing with her in May as her first book is released!

~ Foreskin’s Lament, by Shalom Auslander – A recommendation from my friend Jeri, this is a memoir that I can’t wait read!

~ The Professor and the Madman, by Simon Winchester – I found this book at a local thrift store, but it’s been on my radar for quite a while.

~ I haven’t yet chosen a classic to re-read this month. I still want to focus on re-reading an old favorite each month, but I think that I’ll start with the top three that I listed, and decide on a title to revisit very soon. Do you have any suggestions for me? What are your favorite books to re-read?

Screen time ~

~ Veronica Mars. I’m *thiiiiiiiiss close* to finishing the third season, and I’m excited to finally watch the movie!

~ Scandal. Holy guacamole! Did you catch the season finale?!

~ The Blacklist. Big Bang Theory. Parks & Rec. These make for wonderful long-distance dates with my Beloved!

Want to be Facebook or Pinterest buddies? I would love to connect with you!

What have you been into this month? Have you read a fantastic book lately? Been glued to a TV show or a new movie? Have I talked you into joining me in the #styleme challenges yet? Be sure to check out all of the wonderful What I’m Into and What I Wore Wednesday links! I’m going to fix a cup of tea and read through them this week. So many good ideas!

Let’s make May a fabulous month!

*Hugs*

 

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What I’m Into ~ March 2014 Edition

What I'm Into - March 2014 Edition

Is it really that time again? It’s time to look back at the month of March and link up with the lovely Leigh Kramer as we chat about what we’ve been into over the last month!

Family ~

If I sound a little loopy this month, it’s because I have a back spasm that feels like I’m going through back labor all over again. My doctor gave me a shot on Friday, and I’m taking a muscle relaxer that has me feeling pretty sleepy – but hopefully I’ll be back on my feet in no time!

Couch

We celebrated Pi Day by making a strawberry-rhubarb pie! I let the boys take over, and they did a fabulous job on the yummy treat! Quinn and I even worked on a gluten-free mini pie just for him. Happiness all around!

In other news – I’m going to a ball! My Beloved asked me last week if I’d like to attend the Air Force ball with him in April. I’m usually being dramatic when I say that I have nothing to wear, but this time it’s for real! I’ve been window shopping online, tossed around a few ideas, and finally ordered a dress. I’m hoping that it gets here soon, so I can go out and shop on my own if it doesn’t fit. *fingers crossed*

dresses

Fashion ~

Speaking of clothes, we have had all sorts of weather this month. One day it was so chilly that I broke out one of my warmest Russian shawls…

Russian Scarf

And another was so warm that I could dig out my ruby slipper TOMS…

Red Sparkly Toms and Animal Print

Last month’s books ~

I reviewed a few of these in my Twitterature post. March was a great reading month!

Buddha in the Attic, by Julie Otsuka – Raw, sweeping, and hauntingly beautiful. I can’t rave enough about this book. This story is like nothing else that I have ever read. The voice of the story is so different, and it’s opening up doors of creativity and storytelling ideas that I had never known possible. Please do yourself a favor and read this book soon!

Twitterature2

Undaunted, by Christine Caine – Wow. Christine Cain’s story is heartbreaking, yet she allowed God to use the horrible things that happened in her life to touch many others! Inspiring and convicting at the same time, it left me realizing that even though I am delivered from my past – true freedom comes when you help others to be delivered and free as well. This book once again put human trafficking on my heart. I don’t know exactly where my journey will lead, but I’m ready to take those steps.

Operating Instructions, by Anne Lamott – She is the pioneer for all mommy bloggers, telling it like it is, this messy business of parenting. In classic Anne Lamott style, she had me in tears on one page, and giggles on the next. I kept nodding and remembering as I read about those first sleep-deprived months of motherhood.

Anne Lamott quote

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion – In a nutshell, this book is adorable! I kept hearing Sheldon Cooper’s voice as I read it on my Kindle. It has some language, but the story of his “wife project” left me wanting more. I hope that the author revisits their lives at some point with a sequel!

My Sergei, by Ekaterina Gordeeva – Katya Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov were my very favorite figure skaters when I was growing up. I remember reading the news of Sergei’s death when I was a teenager. Watching the Olympics made me want to re-read this love story – and I’m so glad that I revisited it.

Twitterature

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, by Gary Vaynerchuk – This was my very first Gary V book. I thought his take on social media was pretty interesting. This newbie has so much to learn, and I found that his examples of the good, bad, and ugly of social media were helpful. Social media still intimidates me, but now that I’m starting to learn the ins and outs, maybe it won’t be such a scary place anymore.

Sun Shine Down, by Gillian Marchenko – I read this book this weekend in one sitting. Such a touching memoir of a mother finding out that her baby has Downs Syndrome while living in Kiev, Ukraine. I had first heard of Gillian Marchenko when she wrote a guest post on Addie Zierman’s blog, and I have been following her ever since. The story is the unveiled look at having a baby with special needs, but it also felt like I was sitting across from an old friend and sharing life stories over a cup of chai (Russian tea). To me, that’s the sign of a good memoir!

Sun Shine Down

 

Reading in April ~

~ To Be a Friend is Fatal, by Kirk W. Johnson – This one comes recommended by Leigh Kramer!

~ What Matters in Jane Austen, by John Mullen – I saw the title of this book either during last month’s What I’m Into or Twitterature link-ups, and I knew that I had to read it!

~ Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell – I keep hearing about this book, and after being on hold for it at the library for FOREVER, it’s finally here!

~ Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery – As I mentioned last month, I want to focus on re-reading favorite books throughout the year. This month, I’ve chosen to revisit everyone’s favorite “Anne-Girl.”

Screen Time ~

My Beloved and I kept hearing about this little show called House of Cards. Similar to Breaking Bad, we thought we’d watch “just one episode to see what all the fuss is about.” Two weeks later, we had binged watched the entire series.

I got caught up on Mad Men, so I’m ready for the season premier this month!

I’m currently using what little down time I have to watch the Veronica Mars series again. I loved it when it was on television, and I want to re-watch all of the episodes before I see the movie. I’ve heard from friends who loved the movie, and I can’t wait to see where the Neptune gang ends up at their 10 year reunion!

Blogging ~

We are continuing our Healthier, Happier You series – and I recently turned it into a link-up! I’d love to have you join us!

Last week I shared with you some of my favorite things this spring, and announced an awesome giveaway that you won’t want to miss! The drawing ends on Wednesday night (April 2nd), so click here to enter!

Giveaway! Win a SIGNED copy of Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, fabulous earrings from One Little Momma, and more!

I also shared with you the story of a special celebration in our family

Dear Jesus, thank you for today.

Please help my daddy to stop drinking.

I love you, Lord. Amen.

Dear Jesus ~ A little girl's prayer for her daddy is answered.

We’ve also had more wonderful In Her Shoes guest posts during the month of March! We heard about a homeschooling mom, an American attorney living in Zambia, a missionary in Peru, and the strength of a mother’s love. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy learning about the lives of these women, their beautiful stories, and what it is like to walk in their shoes! Stay tuned for more inspiring stories in April!

That about wraps up the month of March in my little corner of the world. I’m so happy that you stopped by today! I would love to keep in touch. You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We can also be book buddies on GoodReads.

We have more great stuff lined up this month, and you can get my posts by email – just by going to the Subscribe button on the side. It’s easy peasy!

What were you into last month? I’d love to hear all about it!

I hope that you have a lovely April!

Love,

~ G

 

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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MY GIFT TO YOU!