I'm almost done talking about my birthday but not quite. After all, it's been fun relishing the attention and accolades. More than that, I have a great feeling about #33. I can't believe what's already happened this month alone!
Read and Reading
The Myth of You and Me (Stewart) made me want to be a better novelist. It was so well done: the way the plot moved forward, the author slowly parsing out information and back story, the way we grow in our understanding of the characters, and then bam: ending true to life.
Within the first few pages, I knew I needed to own Dinner: A Love Story (Rosenstrach). She celebrates the art of eating dinner together, includes lovely essays and helpful tips, and the recipes are simple and highlight the beauty of the ingredients themselves. Plus, the photography is stellar! This cookbook is a keeper.
If you like shows on Bravo, you'll probably enjoy producer and host Andy Cohen's book Most Talkative. I liked learning more about his pre-Bravo life, his journey as a gay man, and of course all the behind-the-scenes Real Housewives dirt. I actually teared up when I read about Andy finally coming out to his best friend. Of course, I laughed out loud aplenty. Cohen is as funny in the book as he is on TV.
Reading The Dirty Life (Kimball) was like a walk down memory lane. Not because I bought a farm with a guy I barely knew but because we have a family farm. This is a beautifully written memoir but also packed with information on farming, green living, and ethical eating.
Currently reading: The Omnivore's Dilemma (Pollan), The House of Belonging (Whyte), Mudhouse Sabbath (Winner), Everything (DeMuth), The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse (Gungor), Walking on Water (L'Engle), When Helping Hurts (Corbett and Fikkert).
(I read 9 books this month.)
Must-see TV: Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Vampire Diaries, The New Girl, The Mindy Project. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
I finished watching series 3 of Downton Abbey a week or so ago and it absolutely stunned me. I'm not going to give any spoilers but I will say next season will take us in an unexpected direction. Crikey, that show.
In better news, I watched series 1 of Call the Midwife and fell in love. CHUMMY.
I didn't think Amy Sherman-Palladino would ever let me down but I've pretty much given up on Bunheads. The supporting cast is crazy-making. The end.
Pitch Perfect both elated me and filled me with regret. I regretted never joining an a capella group and I especially wish I would have fallen in love with a boy named Jesse during college. Although I must say, I was in collegiate chorale for two years and there weren't any guys of Jesse's caliber there. In any case, I loved this movie. LOVED. I sang along and I had to have a Living Room Dance Party while the credits rolled...even though none of my party pooper friends joined in.
I started a What I'm Into 2013 playlist on Spotify. You might as well subscribe to it now so you don't miss out on my musical finds.
Audrey Assad played a show at a Catholic church in downtown Nashville as part of the new Catholic Underground movement. I went to Vespers beforehand and was undone by her voice leading us through the hymns. Also, she does a killer version of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here.
Long-time readers know how much I love hard rock music. I've followed Brian "Head" Welch's story with interest since he departed from Korn 7 years ago. I never expected he and Korn would play together again. What an amazing turn around!
I am fully enamored with The Honest Company, which offers eco-friendly, safe, and affordable products. (If you sign up, I'll get a $20 credit to fuel my new obsession.) I'm interested in the bath and body and cleaning lines but I hear good things about their diaper service and baby products. The actress Jessica Alba started the company because she couldn't find such products for her family. I love the mission and the fact that they give back and they take customer feedback seriously. I'm looking forward to trying the laundry detergent and healing balm. This could be the start of a beautiful relationship.
Funniest Birthday Present:
Ink180 works with former gang members and those who have been trafficked by transforming the tattoos that speak to their former life into something beautiful. Read the story of how it all started here.
In the Blogosphere:
I shared my favorite January links here.
If you read nothing else, read this open letter from baby Pearl's dad. It is stunning in its power.
Watch this 15 minute documentary by photographer Sue Bryce. It's a powerful look at friendship, what constitutes beauty, and the light that shines in all of us. All from the perspective of a woman who went through breast cancer and now is dying of bone cancer. Keep the Kleenex handy but do watch.
I'm fascinated by My Obama Year, in which Darrell, a lifelong conservative, gives Democrats a fair chance. Worth reading, no matter what your political beliefs are.
On The Blog:
I unveiled my One Word for this year, told you all about my world changing friend, and shared how I may have been hiding behind my clothes. All three of these generated great discussion online and off.
Rachel Held Evans went ahead and made me one of her sex consultants. It's cool, guys. It's for her Sexuality and the Church series. I'm so excited and honored to represent singles.
I was the Featured Blog for Typepad. Holy buckets, was that ever a thrill to find out about!
We had an interesting discussion about picking up hitchhikers on the HopefulLeigh FB page. And you all hooked me up with some great lipstick recommendations. Hitchhikers and lipstick. You never know what you're going to get with me.
What I'm Into Link Up Guidelines:
1. Today’s link-up will stay up for one week. The next What I'm Into link up will be Wednesday February 27.
2. Link the unique URL of your post, not your blog's home page. Readers peruse link ups months after the fact and you want to make it easy for them to find your What I'm Into post.
4. Share your post and read and comment on those who link up.
5. Keep reading, watching TV, and cooking good food. It's all fodder for your What I'm Into post!
What have you been into this month?