What I’m Into…April 2017

I’m finally joining the link up with Leigh to talk about what I’ve been into this past month. What fun!

In April I finished four books and actually enjoyed all of them.

I read My Life in France for an awesome new book club and was completely captivated by Julia’s spirit of determination and deep passion for the food, people and culture of France. I, too, have fallen head over heels for a place I was living temporarily (although my story took a different turn). 🙂 I also enjoy cooking and have secretly always wanted to go to culinary school. It was fun to live vicariously through her as she ate and cooked excellent food.

The Dry was brought to my attention by Laura on the Sorta Awesome podcast. Go for the  audio version with the Australian accent—it really draws you into the story. It was a riveting mystery that stuck with me for days after I finished it and seriously gave me chills. Jane Harper does a stellar job of setting the scene, and I quickly fell for the reserved, tough protagonist with a sensitive side. His steadfast loyalty and compassion keep you rooting for him as he works diligently to uncover a mystery from the past as well as the truth behind the tragedy that brought him back to his hometown in rural Australia. I will be looking for the follow up set to release later this year. Also, Reese Witherspoon bought the film rights, so that’s exciting.

I read His Needs, Her Needs for an intensive marriage class that we started back in February. It finished this month, and I am so, so glad we did it. Honestly, we were forced to have some tough conversations, but it has helped us learn how to better meet each other’s needs and communicate more effectively. If you have the opportunity to take Dynamic Marriage in your area, I highly recommend it. FullSizeRender 4I will say that the book was originally published in 1986, so be prepared for a bit of outdated terminology. For me, it wasn’t a huge distraction. I think the book would be helpful on it’s own, but the workbook and class we took along with it certainly made this one more impactful.

I referenced Help, Thanks, Wow in an earlier post. This book has a beautiful, lyrical quality, and it’s full of helpful bits of wisdom and anecdotes from Anne’s life. It was a timely reminder to be still, present…intentional.

I am the poster child for being late to the party, so please don’t be too shocked when I say that I recently got Spotify. I have some truly great playlists on my iTunes account, so I’ve been creating a playlist on Spotify that has some of my favorite songs from those. It’s nice to have access without having to use up storage on my phone. I’m also exploring new music with Spotify. A few favorites I’ve enjoyed this month are Buena Vista Social Club, Rachel Yamagata (check out “Reason Why”), Travis (an all-time fave is “More Than Us”), and the song “Something in the Water” by Brooke Fraser.

Speaking of being more intentional, I’m trying to support more ethical brands these days. In April, I enjoyed doing a little online window shopping to send my husband a list of links for potential Mother’s Day gifts.  These earrings are a favorite from my wishlist. I love what this company does for women in Uganda.

I’m always looking for new recipes to try. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. My friend, Cara, shared this yummy (and healthy) recipe several months ago, and I’ve been making Red Lentil Dal a lot lately since accidentally buying a huge bag of lentils, like I do. This Creamy Red Curry with Turkey Meatballs was a big hit with all the boys in my house when my brother came to visit. I served it over jasmine rice with green beans. I’d been wanting to try Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon roll recipe for a long time, and a brunch baby shower was the perfect occasion. I didn’t even make the glaze because I ran out of time, but they were delicious without it.  IMG_0474 2

Watching Parks and Recreation again on Netflix recently has been so enjoyable. To me, it’s one of the most re-watchable shows out there. The character development and chemistry of the cast add a lot to the hilarious writing. We are allowing a little bit of screen time now for our toddler, so I introduced him to Mulan. It’s still such a powerful story, and the animation is gorgeous—the colors, the architecture, the panoramic views of the mountains and the Great Wall. I’m excited that a live action version is coming next year.

Lastly, this time of year in Texas is glorious. My deep feelings about spring are right there in the title of my blog. Of course, we sometimes have Easter in April—a joyful time to remember and celebrate our Savior. Now, for my family, the beginning of April is a special time to celebrate the birthday of this darling boy. IMG_0483I’m soaking in the bright greens, planting flowers and watching our giant roses bloom.FullSizeRender 3

Thanks for following along as I reflect back on April! Click here to read what others have been into. 🙂