Monday, December 2, 2013

What I'm Into: November

When I was in Missouri a few weeks ago, Ashley, Sarah Denley, and I were discussing blogging (of course). I was talking about how I'm in such a blogging slump and about how I need to start doing a better job posting. Sarah Denley does this fun "What I'm Into" post every month, and Ashley and I both said we would like to do it too, but we kind of forget about it until it's too late. So this month, Sarah Denely was sweet enough to send us a reminder text ;) So, for the first time, I'm linking up with Leigh for a What I'm Into Post
What I Read:
I've been reading a good bit lately. I've actually slowed down over the past month just because it's been BUSY (holiday months tend to be that way, huh?). But here are the books I've read this month:
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
This was our book club for November, and it was actually my pick. I enjoyed it. I found it to be a quick read, but some other people in my book club weren't as into to it, and therefore didn't find it to be such a fast read. If you're a Downton Abbey fan (who isn't?) you'll probably enjoy this book. If you don't like books that are a bit... um, tragic, you might not want to read this one. It wasn't the most "literary" book that we've ever done for book club, but all in all, I would recommend it.

I realize that I'm about 10 years late to jump on this bandwagon, but better late than never, right? I didn't read these books for the longest time because I just didn't think I'd be into them. But after listening to my book club friends talking about them on more than one occasion and feeling totally out of the loop, I figured I should give them a try. And what do you know, I'm actually kind of enjoying them! (Ok, a lot.) They're just very entertaining books.
Those are technically all of the books that I've read and completed this month, but I had to include one more that I read a couple of months ago since it's what got me started on this current Happy Potter kick:
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
This was my first J.K. Rowling book to read, and I enjoyed it. It had a LOT of bad language in it, which I wasn't a fan of, but it was definitely a page turner and kept me guessing until the end!
What I'm Reading Next:
At the top of my list are the rest of the Harry Potter books, obviously. I'm about halfway through
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix right now.
My book club isn't meeting in December, but in January, we're going to read The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli. I'm looking forward to it!
I've already read Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth, but it's been so long that I'm planning on rereading them before I read Allegiant. I want to finish all three of them before the movie comes out!
What I Saw At The Theater:
David and I went to see Catching Fire for my birthday. I thought it was so good!
That was the first movie that we've seen in the theater in a while, but we're planning on taking the kids to see Frozen soon. I'm excited about that one!

What I Watched From the Couch:
We usually watch quite a few movies at home, but this month it seems like we didn't get to watch as many. David bought all of the Harry Potter movies for me on Black Friday, so I know we'll be watching all of those for the next few weeks. We started the first one the other night, but we were both so tired that we ended up stopping it and going to bed. We NEVER do that.
What I Did Around The House:
We enjoyed our fall decorations all month. I looked back and apparently we didn't take so much as ONE picture of a darn pumpkin. And we just took all of the fall stuff down and put CHRISTMAS stuff up yesterday!!
Do you follow the blog Dear Lillie? I discovered it a few months ago, and I LOVE her style! I'd say her style is pretty close to my own personal style, except that I like more color :) Anyway, through her blog, I also found her shop. I've ordered a few prints from the shop, and I love them!! I got this one for fall/Thanksgiving.
I love it so much that I think I'm going to use it year round (you can kind of see that it's currently surrounded by Christmas greenery). I think it is definitely is appropriate for year round use, right? :)
I also ordered a chalkboard print. I think the one I linked to is the one I ordered, but I honestly can't remember for sure. It's bigger and will have to be hung, so I just left it packaged up and sent it to David's office for safe keeping since our house is on the market.
I'm at such a weird place with our house. There are so many little projects that I'd love to do, but with our house on the market, I just feel like I can't. This is hard for me because, in a lot of ways, home projects and decorating are kind of my hobbies. And a lot of the projects that I want to do aren't even things that are for this house specifically. There are several pieces of furniture that I want to paint, and I've really been wanting to change up our master bedroom, but I just feel like I should wait. I realize that this is a very minor thing, and it definitely doesn't hurt me to hold off on DIY projects for a few months. But I'll just be glad when I'm able to feel more settled in my home. Decorating for Christmas kind of helped with that itch to have a "project" and our house always feels so cozy at Christmas. So, I'm content :)
What I Cooked:
Just like pretty much everyone, this time of year I'm all about soups and chilis. I make my crockpot work overtime this time of year! One of my favorite things to do is to buy a whole chicken (I used to be terrified of whole chickens, but they really aren't bad... they're nasty, yes, but it's just SO much more cost effective to buy a whole chicken, especially if you're buying organic.) and cook it in the crockpot using this recipe. I then make David take all of the meat off the bones for me. That part honestly grosses me out more than dealing with the raw chicken. I'm not a fan of dark meat chicken at all, but it doesn't bother me in soups because I can't really tell the difference between the white meat and the dark meat. I then use the chicken bones to make chicken stock. It is SO easy to make and it tastes so much better than the kind you get in a box! Seriously, homemade stock makes soup so good! I then use the chicken meat and stock to make things like chicken tortilla soup, chicken chili, or chicken noodle soup. So easy! But you can't have soup or chili without some kind of bread, can you? I LOVE these cheddar garlic drop biscuits. You can throw them together in no time, and they go great with any kind of soup. I love that they're whole wheat too! (And I just realized that all of the recipes that I linked to are from the same site. I do get recipes from other places too... hahah!)
We had some delicious food for Thanksgiving last week! I can't take much of the credit at all for that, though. My dad and grandmother did most of the cooking. I did make this cheesecake for dessert. I leave out the raspberries and the almond extract, but it's so good! My brother requests that I make this cheesecake over and over :)

What I Wore:
It FINALLY got cold here! So, that means lots of scarves and boots!! I ordered this scarf, and I have been wearing it all the time. It's so warm!

I wear these boots literally almost everyday. I've gotten so many compliments on them, and they're from Target! They aren't made of the highest quality leather, but they are real leather, and I've been happy with them. I don't think they'll necessarily last for 10 years or anything, but I tend to get tired of boots after a couple of seasons anyway, so cheap is the way to go for me! ;) (They were on sale when I bought them... as much as I love them, I don't think they're worth $75.)
We had family pictures taken a few weeks ago, and putting together outfits for pictures always about kills me. Yes, that's maybe a bit dramatic, but I just don't feel like I'm good at it. I always have a certain "look" in my head, but then when it comes time to actually put that "look" together, I can NEVER find what I'm wanting. It doesn't help at all that I'm usually out searching 2 days before our pictures and I refuse to pay $80 for outfits for my kids (or myself, for that matter). Anyway, our outfits for our pictures finally came together at the last minute, and I was pleased. They weren't necessarily what I originally had in mind, but we were clothed and we coordinated, so I was happy! :)
What I Ordered:
I ordered the kids these cute Christmas shirts, and I was so excited when I saw them in my mailbox! I love them! I ordered them from A Simple Stitch. I've gotten several little heat press shirts for the kids from there, and I've been really happy with them. I just think they're super cute and different from a monogram or applique (which I also love). If you like these kinds of shirts, you should check out A Simple Stitch on Facebook! I think she does flash sales every Monday.
I also ordered our Christmas cards!! I was happy with our family pictures, so our card design is SUPER simple. It's pretty much all about the picture this year :) I can't wait to get them in and send them out! I also can't wait to start receiving Christmas cards! ;)
What's Been On My Mind and Heart:
After our experience a couple of weeks ago with the call about the baby, our adoption has been on my heart more than ever. I think about our little future family member all the time, and I just cannot wait until the day we get to meet him or her. I'm just having to give the timing of the adoption to the Lord and pray for patience. I did recently discover the National Down Syndrome Adoption Network. It's a registry for families in the Untied States who are wanting to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. They help connect potential adoptive families with birth families. I was so excited to discover this network, and David and I are taking steps right now to get onto their registry


Becky said...

I will have to keep The House at Riverton in mind. I love Downton Abbey (and miss it so much!) :-)

And I love cooking chicken in the slow cooker and making stock! It is so yummy!

Stopping by from Leigh Kramer's link up. :-)

Sarah said...

I liked the Cuckoo's Calling as well. Definitely different from Harry Potter, but it was a page-turner. :)

Just visiting from the link-up. Also, I wrote about crock pots this month and my obsession with crock pot liners. Game changer for us! :)

Leigh Kramer said...

Sarah Denley gets all the points for telling you about the linkup AND texting a reminder. Wow! Glad to have you playing along with us this month.

House at Riverton is good but my least favorite of Kate Morton's work. That honor goes to The Distant Hours. Harry Potter is the BEST. I'm a little jealous you're experiencing them for the first time. I loved The Cuckoo's Calling- curious what will happen next in the series. I made homemade chicken stock this afternoon. It always makes me feel so virtuous.