Loving Lately

Watching
I finally finished season one of The Crown, and I’m officially hooked! This show gives a fascinating peek into the human lives behind England’s centuries-long monarch institution. When Queen Elizabeth inherits the throne at age 25, I don’t think anyone would ever quite understand what a burden this was for her. While her position as “the crown,” is meant to represent God, consult with the government and preside over the Church of England, she’s also faced with competing agendas between her husband, sister, mother and the Prime Minister (who is Winston Churchill at the time). It’s amazing that she’s still queen today at the age of 91. If you haven’t seen it already, I think you’ll find yourself just as easily captivated by this series.

Reading
I’ve been completely devouring The Glass Castle, a memoir about Jeannette Wall’s unbelievable childhood. I’m about 1/3 of the way through it, and as each chapter passes I’m astounded by all she experienced with her quirky, unstable family. They moved from town to town, her dad from job to job, while they barely ate and at one point slept in cardboard boxes. She burned herself cooking hot dogs at the age of three, was accidentally thrown out of a moving car, and faced life-threatening school bullies. Each vignette seems more shocking than the last, and I’m waiting to hear of how she finally breaks free. How did she get out on her own, and become a thriving writer with a college degree? This is my idea of a good book.

Eating
After too much indulging for most of December, and then getting the flu the first week of January, I’ve been working to eat much better this past month. I started with trying to get this green smoothie in most mornings. It’s really delicious, and you don’t get an overwhelming taste of kale. I’ve also been trying to take my lunch to work more frequently and these food prep containers have helped so much. I like to take a salad in a separate bowl, with some leftovers and the toppings in these containers. For dinner I really enjoyed these quinoa black bean stuffed peppers. So tasty and they make several servings. What have you been making lately?

Doing
Earlier this month I completed a big freelance project which was such a relief. I hope to share more about that soon. Now that it’s staying light a little later, I’m taking advantage of evening walks at the park near my work, pictured above. I’m also contemplating a bike purchase to use on the trail near my place (really digging this one). On another note, I recently went antique/vintage shopping, and wow I think I’m hooked. I snagged some incredible finds, and am thinking of sharing it all on a post here. Stay tuned!

On My Reading List

Now that it’s finally cooled down after 100 degree temps in late October, I’m ready to cozy up and start some new reads. I’ve had these four on my list for a while, and am looking forward to the mixture of good fiction, memoir and writing inspiration!

The Light Between Oceans
Now published over five years ago, this popular best seller was also made into a movie that I’ve also held off on seeing. The unique and intense plot of a couple secretly keeping a baby they didn’t conceive looks perfect for a cold, rainy weekend.

The Right to Write
Though I’ve not read it, I’ve also heard many good things about The Artist’s Way, also written by Julia Cameron. I thought The Right to Write would be a perfect introduction to her work. I look forward to reading more about her writing process.

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?
I get so engrossed reading memoirs and can’t wait to read Alyssa’s account of working as a White House Aid under President Obama. That job is still on the dream list in the back of my mind and it will be so interesting to get an inside view of her life while there.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
The voice of Eleanor as the narrator of this heart-warming story sounds humorous, refreshing and relatable. Word on the street is that Reese Witherspoon is making this into a film, so I plan to devour it before it hits the mainstream big screen.

Check out my previous reading list here. 

On My Reading List

I don’t know about you, but I generally don’t jump to make a book purchase. I’ll let it hang out on my Amazon wish list for a while, and then take the leap after thinking it over. I think because I want whatever I’m reading to match the season I’m in, and accurately speak to where I’m at. No need for it to collect dust on the shelf, and not otherwise get cracked open.

I reviewed my list the other day, and these four were the prominent choices for various reasons. Mostly because I’ve read these authors before, or currently follow them online. I think they will provide a great rotation this spring!

Nothing to Prove
I was a big fan of Jennie Allen’s “Restless: Because You Were Made for More.” Her voice is gentle, encouraging, and helpful. Her writing is relatable when you feel like you’re the only one experiencing the pressure of being enough. “Nothing to Prove” looks like it also provides an exhale of relief from carrying the burden of worth through accomplishment.

Wild and Free
This is the first book by these two author friends who are around my age. I found Jess Connolly on Instagram, and I adore her continual encouragement of staying in God’s word and loving the people around us. I’m looking forward to diving into this one, as it’s a “hope-filled anthem” of embracing who God has made us to be.

She Walks in Beauty
This has been on my list for years! It’s time to commit. I love how poetry opens your soul and sparks creativity. I love how much meaning is packed in and new understanding is formed. This will likely become a coffee table book. Easy to grab in a quiet moment, and helpful that is matches my living room anyway.

Becoming Myself
I’ve read and enjoyed both John and Staci Eldredge’s books for a long time. I loved how Staci’s personal stories in “Captivating” showed God’s transformation in her life and identity. This recent release further shares her testimony of God’s restoration, and how He ultimately shapes us, and shows us who we are.