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March 2016

What I'm Into (February 2016 Edition)

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I am a big fan of how San Francisco does wintertime. Most of February has felt like spring. There's a slight chill when I leave for work in the morning but we're well on our way to 60s and 70s by the time I get to the office. Sign me up.


Read and Reading

PicMonkey Collage

Friends have recommended the Inspector Gamache series for a few years now and I decided to finally see why. I bought Still Life (Penny) from Parnassus Books while I was back in Nashville, as a plane debacle on the way there led to me reading three books in one day and I was in need of reading material for the flight back. It's a delightful character-driven murder mystery. I'm curious to see how our dear Inspector will grow over the course of the series. Still Life sets up some interesting premises and I liked learning more about the town and its inhabitants. The mystery itself could have gone in several directions, which led to some surprises, even if I did figure out the murderer before the rest.

My friend Addie Zierman's second memoir Night Driving comes out March 15. I was honored to receive an advance copy, which I devoured. The level of honesty and vulnerability is rare for the spiritual memoir genre. Had Addie waited several years before writing it, we would get a very different book. But I'm glad for the immediacy and that we can learn from someone who is still figuring it all out. Someone who can be honest about the ups and downs and the fears and the doubts. Addie's writing is permeated with grace and wisdom and she's an amazing writer. I'm so proud of her. Plus, I make an appearance, which is a first, as I hosted her for one night during her Epic Road Trip.

Trigger Warning (Gaiman) is an eerie, captivating collection of short stories. I am fascinated by Gaiman and how he comes up with these stories. What a wonderful world we live in.


You can see all the books I've read at Goodreads

Currently reading: The Complete Enneagram (Chestnut), The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Alexander), The Bible Tells Me So (Enns), Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian (Hill), Out of the House of Bread (Yancey)

(I read 18 books this month.)



Must-see TV: Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Once Upon A Time, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Top Chef, Downton Abbey

I'm still enjoying Crazy Ex-Girlfriend but I'm going to need them to move the storyline along so it's not so "Rebecca is going to do anything to be near Josh Chan!" Can she at least accept the fact that they can only be friends right now? 

I'm writing this before Downton Abbey's finale (last night, as of this publication) but all I can say is Edith better get a happy ending. Or else.



I loved the first Zoolander movie and was very excited about the sequel. What a disappointment! Whereas the first movie had a point to make about the fashion industry, Zoolander 2 made no sense, even if you tried to suspend disbelief. Plus, it was offensive. So much fat-shaming and homophobia. What a waste of time and money.



New discovery: The Sweeplings (HT Jamie Golden for making it her green light on The Popcast)

Listen to the What I'm Into 2015 playlist.



I haven't stopped thinking about Reply All's episode #55: The Line, about the intersection of Mormons and doubt. Or rather, how doubt is seen not only as incompatible with the LDS church but of the devil. 

I am a HUGE fan of BJ Miller and his work in end of life care so I was delighted by his episode of On Being with Krista Tippett. I hope more and more people get to listen to his perspective. 

Hindsight Parts 1 and 2 completed upended my experience of Serial. I've been thinking about Bergdahl's case one way, only to learn about a key missing piece of the puzzle. It's inspired a lot of discussion with a coworker who is also listening.

I got a kick out of Jeff Tremaine coming on Sorta Awesome to share behind-the-scenes of the entertainment industry with Laura and Megan. Such a fun and funny listen!

The Longform Podcast interviewed the hosts of Another Round and, as always, it made for fascinating listening. I love this podcast because they rarely ask the typical questions. It was great getting to learn more about Heben and Tracy. 


Things I Love:

  • I tried a few new things from Devil's Teeth Bakery when Cara and I got together. This was a good decision. Thank you for not letting me down, kale parmesan scone.
  • My friend Julie and I went to b. patisserie after work and it absolutely lived up to its reputation. I had a Valrhona Fudge Cookie that was life-changing. Plus, I love getting to hang out with Julie.
  • Beyonce and Bruno Mars made for one unforgettable Super Bowl Halftime performance. ENCORE.

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  • Sometimes the bus is half empty, even if it only lasts for a stop. It's so nice and rare to choose where I want to sit.
  • Lydia and I walked around the neighborhood by our office and I found some really neat architecture. The buildings here are fascinating.

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  • Speaking of which, I got to tour Sherith Israel, which is one of the oldest synagogues in the US. It is beyond gorgeous. The attention to detail, the design....I couldn't stop taking pictures while walking through it. It was built in 1904 and part of the national registry of historic places. We couldn't use our regular Sunday facility yesterday so Sherith Israel filled in. And what a substitute!
  • My friend Rachel and I tend to both have Fridays off so we took the opportunity to grab lunch at Beachside, where I tried the Irish Breakfast sandwich. It was as amazing as I hoped. Then we walked the beach for a while, which never gets old. She asked me for book recommendations so she is my favorite.

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  • My friend Laura took me to Glen Park, a neighborhood I hadn't yet explored. We had breakfast at Tyger's and then walked through Glen Canyon where it looked like spring everywhere we turned. It was hard to remember we were in the city.
  • I went back to Nashville for a visit for the first time since moving away last June. Erin came down from our hometown and we both stayed with Tracy for a best friend reunion. I came a day early so I could see as many Nashy friends as possible, though there was no way to fit everyone in. (Sorry, y'all!) It was so good to catch up with friends and visit my favorite haunts. Plus, the weather warmed up to the 60s the last 2 days of the trip.


  • My niece-in-love and nephew-in-love woke me up early my first day...but only for a hug before she headed off to school. So grown up! (I gave them permission to wake me up.) It was so good to see them again and see how much they've grown and just plain be in their presence for a few days.
  • I got to meet Casi's sweet baby girl. She is so precious!
  • I got the very last brisket sandwich when Julie and I went to Edley's for lunch. Score!

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  • Alece and I had delightful cocktails at Pinewood Social. I am so impressed with all of her adulting!
  • Amanda and I caught up over dinner at Flip Burger. I have missed her so much and it was good to finally be face to face while we solved the world's problems.

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  • Fido upgraded to Rishi Tea, which made me happy but not as happy as I was to see Abby. It was weird not seeing her since October.
  • I got to see my sweet nanny "baby" who is 4 1/2 now and still doesn't quite get where California is or why I don't see her more often. It was great spending time with her and her mom.
  • I really like my stylist here but she went on maternity leave early. Luckily, my stylist Michelle agreed to cut my hair while I was in town! I went back to a shorter style and I love it. It was so great to hear what all Michelle has been up to, too!
  • Crystal and I went to Edgehill Cafe...which looks COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. Like, I questioned if we were in the same place. The remodel job turned out nice but it was a little disconcerting. Luckily, they still have my favorite Tangerine Ginger tea. Crystal and I didn't have nearly enough time together but we managed to pack a lot of conversation in anyway. She is such a source of encouragement.
  • Allison and I took advantage of Local Taco's Happy Hour margaritas and sat outside talking for a couple of hours. You know those friends who you can talk about anything and everything? That's Allison. She and Adam have been through a lot so I don't take time with her for granted.
  • I walked down to Dose to see Jess before she had to go to work. I am always inspired by her and, of course, walked away with a few good book recommendations. Such a treat!

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  • Tracy, Erin, and I went to Sinema for a nice birthday dinner. The food and drinks blew me away, as did the decor and service. Incredible! We all turn 36 within months of each other. and it was nice to be able to celebrate together. We started talking about what we should do for our 40th birthdays and I fervently hope we follow through.
  • After dinner, we saw Zoolander 2 (boo) and then Tracy and Erin dragged me to an Irish pub. I wasn't against the pub, per se- I just wanted to get into comfy clothes sooner! We stayed at a hotel that night and it was so nice to be just the 3 of us. I don't know the last time we've had that much time together just the 3 of us. But it's so important for it to happen, no matter how much I love their families.
  • The last morning in town, we went to a new place Proper Bagel that opened up in Belmont. There was a bit of a line but it moved fast and the bagels were worth it.
  • Lydia, Christy, and I went to our favorite pho place for lunch. I can't get enough of it.
  • We had doughnuts from Mr. Holmes at work. Definitely a dairy cheat (like other places I went to this month!) but worth it.

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  • And of course, this sunset.



Favorite Instagram:

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Staring at the ocean and watching the traffic go by. #outersunsetlife 

(If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is leighkramer.)




What I'm Into


What I'm Into Link Up Guidelines:

1. Today’s link-up will stay open for one week. The next What I'm Into link up will be Wednesday March 30.  

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.

3. Please include the What I'm Into button or mention you're linking up with What I'm Into at Leigh Kramer.

4. Visit at least 2 other posts in the linkup!



What have you been into this month? 

Disclosure : Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click throughany purchase you make supports this site.

Why I'm No Longer The Enneagram Coach

When I sent out my first newsletter on June 25, 2014 announcing my Enneagram coaching business, I never anticipated writing the one I sent to subscribers yesterday. (If you are one such subscriber, you received a modified version of this post.)

This past weekend I sold my business The Enneagram Coach. 

My life has changed in unexpected and wild ways in the last 20 months. New job, new state, new opportunities. If you told me then all that would happen, I would have laughed until I cried. It is a good life but it has been filled with transition and change.

Change has a way of refining us and clarifying our priorities. 

I started TEC with a vision of not only helping people figure out their Enneagram type but how knowing your type leads to personal growth and builds better relationships. I have been beyond honored to work some amazing people in the last 20 months. Whenever I hear from a past client about how knowing their type has helped them in some way, I am over the moon.

While typing sessions went well, I wasn't able to get other services off the ground due to being torn in so many other directions. I haven't had the time and energy to give TEC the attention it needed but I wasn't ready to give up on it altogether. Then came November. 

I met Beth McCord a couple of months before I left Nashville. She was interested in coaching and wanted to hear about my story. When we met, I was impressed by her knowledge of the Enneagram and the many ways she'd applied its wisdom to her life, from personal work to parenting. I had no doubt she'd be fantastic at coaching but she wasn't quite ready to move forward. 

Until she was. She emailed out of the blue to say she was going to start her coaching business and that was when I knew.

It was time to let go. And so I sold it to Beth.
I have enough on my plate right now that there doesn't need to be a "next" for me. I'm hoping I'll have more consistent writing time, for one. 

In the meantime, I'm going back to being an Enneagram enthusiast and the healthiest Type Four I can be. I plan on reading 3 books on the Enneagram in the coming year (I mention them in this post) and I'll probably pop up on the occasional podcast. If you're a friend or family member, you can count on me to keep bringing up my favorite personality typing system.

My love for the Enneagram runs deep. That will never change.

Thank you for being a part of my Enneagram coaching journey. 
Questions about the Enneagram? This page will point you in the right direction. You can also check out my favorite books on the Enneagram.

What I'm Into (January 2016 Edition)

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January kicked off in the most magical of ways: my first ever Rose Parade! Nine days later I celebrated my birthday. The rest of the month unfolded in a more leisurely manner, thanks to a bad cold. If it's any indication for the year ahead, it's going to be a wild ride. 


Read and Reading

PicMonkey Collage

The Girl Who Wrote In Silk (Estes)  is one of my favorite kind of novels, one that intertwines past and present day storylines. It covers how Americans mistreated the Chinese in the late 1800s, which is a surprising but welcome choice as so few people know about that period in history. If we don't know our history, we are doomed to repeat it, something we must be especially mindful of right now. The mystery bringing Mei Lien and Inara's stories together was heartbreaking and poignant. Inara, the present day character, was in a season of transition and trying to figure out what brings her alive, which I found especially resonant. I read it one day, that's how much it captivated me.

Uprooted (Novik) had magic and intrigue galore, the plot gently but insistently moving forward in surprising ways. I liked seeing Agenieszka grow in understanding of herself and her abilities and I also loved the personification of evil in the Wood, which is literally a creepy forest trying to take over the land. The resolution was both moving and satisfying. I couldn't put it down and I felt bereft when it was over, a sign of how much I enjoyed the world Novik created.

At first, I wasn't too sure about the main character's possible love interest in Happiness For Beginners (Center). She's a few years younger than me and interested in a guy who's fresh out of college. It just did not seem plausible. (Not because it's an older woman and a younger man.) But as the plot unfolded and as we learn more about Helen's story, as well as that of Jake, it made more and more sense. It was refreshing, as was the hardcore wilderness trek setting and the well-integrated information on the psychology of happiness. The character growth was complex but believable, even inspiring and I loved the unexpected twists along the way.

I can't stop thinking about Fates and Furies (Groff.) Two sides of a marriage which veer in vastly different directions. The second half is particularly unexpected and ripe for misunderstanding. Or perhaps ripe with nuance. Or perhaps ripe with rot. This would be great for book clubs.

Mastering The Art Of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love From a Year in Paris (Mah) was a rich exploration of expat life in Paris. Her reflections on building community, especially while apart from her husband, resonated with me and I loved seeing where her culinary whims led her as the book progressed.

Winter (Meyer) was a fantastic end to the Lunar Chronicle series. (I do wish Winter's character had been written in a less helpless/privileged manner, as the exploration of mental illness may have been more powerful and it would have been less of a juxtaposition against the strength and gifts of the other main female characters.)


You can see all the books I've read at Goodreads

Currently reading: The Complete Enneagram (Chestnut), The Art of Memoir (Karr), The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Alexander), Sacred Pauses: Spiritual Practices For Personal Renewal (Yamasaki), Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter (MacLaughlin), Trigger Warning (Gaiman)

(I read 18 books this month. That's what happens when I'm sick.)



Must-see TV: Real Housewives of Orange County, Once Upon A Time, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Top Chef, Downton Abbey

I finished watching The West Wing! It's the end of an era. Loved it, though the first few seasons were infinitely better than the last few. I am not going to tell you how much the last season made me cry.

I could not have loved the Sherlock special more. Every time I watch an episode of the show, I'm mesmerized by the brilliance of the writing and acting.



I was surprised by how much I enjoyed The Martian. It was funny at the right moments. It also confirmed I would never survive in outer space.



New discovery: The Strumbellas

Listen to the What I'm Into 2015 playlist.



I was fascinated by the discussion of medicine's transformation between Mark Hyman, James Gordon, and Penny George on On Being. I listened to a couple of parts twice. I also loved the interview with Sister Simone Campbell: How to Be Spiritually Bold. There was one particular phrase that I'll be carrying with me all year. (Clearly I've been catching up on On Being. Those are two older episodes.) 

Dear Sugar has a 3 part series called Looking For The One. I didn't agree with everything, nor did I like the appearance of Lena Dunham in the first episode. (What is a privileged 20-something going to tell me about prolonged singleness?!) But I am so happy they're at least attempting to address the issue. I would love to hear your thoughts if you've listened!

Heben and Tracy from Another Round interviewed none other than Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama. AMAZING.

My friend Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy debuted her podcast What Should I Read Next?. It is such a delight to listen to. The only problem is not being able to join in on the conversation! 

The other new favorite is The Intersection, which focuses on the corner of Golden Gate Ave and Leavenworth St in the Tenderloin. There are 3 episodes out so far and they are must-listens, whether or not you live in San Francisco.


Things I Love:

  • New Year's Day found me at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, thanks to my dear friend Sharone. Her company puts on an event for clients every year. We left her house at way too early in the morning but it was truly the best way to do the parade: catered breakfast and lunch, plus saved seats for the parade. I love parades and I was over the moon to experience in person something I've only ever experienced on TV.

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  • Plus, let's take a moment to acknowledge the hard work and dedication that goes into making the floats and participating in the parade. I got to see Elizabeth McGovern on the Downton Abbey float (which I wanted to move into), Ty Pennington, Paula Abdul (who waved at me!), Kareem Abdul-Jabar, The Bachelor, Ken Burns, and more. Not to mention Elsa, Anna, and the gang. Plus Star Wars. It was glorious.
  • I didn't think the day could be topped but then Sharone's boss offered us tickets to the Lakers game that night. Don't mind if we do!
  • Before the game, I experienced my first legit ramen for dinner. I don't know if I like pho or ramen more. I will need to sample more of each to determine this. Much, much more.
  • I housesat for friends for a week after getting back from LA. I really loved their house and their Hallmark Channel.

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  • I turned 36! Whoa. By popular demand from multiple friends, The Year Of Leigh will continue on, as commemorated in the birthday cake Micha made me. (Few things make me feel more loved than a friend deciding to make me a cake.)
  • I had to work the morning of my birthday but my co-director made a big fuss and one of the set up guys sang a jazzed up Happy Birthday to me so it was kind of great.

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  • To celebrate, I popped champagne and ate yummy food (Pizzeria Delfina! To hell with my eczema for one night. The broccoli raab pizza and the one with housemade fennel sausage was worth it.) with Micha, Laura, and Julie while watching the Golden Globes. My favorite awards show on my birthday? It couldn't have been more perfect, especially because we could snark together in person. This was also wonderful because I first followed Laura on Twitter because of her astute Golden Globe tweets and here we are a few years later.

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  • Cara, Julie, and I got to see Bryan Stevenson at Stanford, complete with a panel moderated by Katie Couric. If you haven't read Just Mercy yet, get on that. It was a great much-needed discussion about racism and mass incarceration and what we can do about it.
  • My coworker Julie and I went to an interesting event on Female Friendship at the JCC. We also had a great meal at Artesano. I highly recommend the plantain chips and the "unpulled" pork.
  • Oakjoo, her toddler son, and I enjoyed a nice walk in the neighborhood, including a stop at Andytown for warm beverages one Friday morning.
  • Our community group had another fantastic potluck. Oakjoo made posole and it was amazing.
  • I took advantage of generous gift cards and Christmas/birthday money, as well as crazy sales, and bought myself some Hunter rain boots (navy) and Sofft boots (brown), as well as a pair of flats (black.) I walk so much in this city that my current footwear was wearing out. These will be put to good use!

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  • I tried sushi for the first time. I've always been open to trying it but as I don't like fish and am very picky about seafood, I've never been particularly motivated. But friends really wanted to eat it one night so it was finally time. Verdict: still not sure. I really liked the roll with salmon, lemon, and avocado, as well as the roe. Everything else was too fishy. 
  • I enjoyed getting to know my coworker Sally better over coffee at Jane, as well as talking about how to address racism in San Francisco. I'm excited about some of the upcoming events we'll be hosting!
  • My coworker Christy and I had a great dinner at one of her favorite spots: Green Chile Kitchen.
  • I finally made it to book club! We had a great discussion of Island Beneath The Sea (Allende). They are my kind of people.



Favorite Instagram:

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I haven't felt this excited and hopeful about a new year in ages. Ready for whatever 2016 brings my way! #TheYearOfLeigh

(If you want to follow me on Instagram, my user name is leighkramer.)




What I'm Into

What I'm Into Link Up Guidelines:

1. Today’s link-up will stay open for one week. The next What I'm Into link up will be Monday February 29.  

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.

3. Please include the What I'm Into button or mention you're linking up with What I'm Into at Leigh Kramer.

4. Visit at least 2 other posts in the linkup!



What have you been into this month? 

Disclosure : Affiliate links included in this post.  If you click throughany purchase you make supports this site.