July, With a Bow (What I’m into this month)

If you look back over the history of communication you’ll quickly realize how new and strange this e-world really is.  I haven’t met many of you reading this and you haven’t met me.

So in this spirit I am going to, once a month, let you know what I’m up to and into etc.  And I’ll keep it very link-y so we can connect as much as possible.

In return you have to leave a comment and tell me what you’re up to and into, quid pro quo.  I guess it’s like giving you a wrap up of my month’s interests and activities, with a little bow on it.

So here we go, July, with a bow on it.

In our Kitchen

Fresh blueberry pie, beyond beyond.

It’s summer so I’m doing what I do every summer and that is hit up the road side stands and farmer’s markets for fresh produce.  This is sort of hard in Ada as we don’t have many locally grown fruit options other than peaches, but I did pick blueberries at a U-pick in Michigan and craft the most pie-gasmic dessert I’ve ever tasted.   Seriously, make this pie.

I’m also making Kel grill chicken and veggie skewers as often as he’ll oblige me.  There is something about grilled food and berries that screams summer on a plate.

What I’m reading on paper

August will come with a new resolve to complete a few non-fiction books but July was an all novel type of month.  I am coming down off my Elin Hilderbrand streak but this month I devoured her “ The Blue Bistro” and “A Summer Affair.”  Of the two I would recommend “The Blue Bistro” as the latter novel is entirely about a wife and mother having an extra marital affair, which ya know, bugged me a little.

I devoured Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and connected deeply with the characters in Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Blogs you mustn’t miss 

I visited a lot of the synchroblogs for Sarah Bessey’s “What is saving your life right now” and I recommend you do the same.  Turns out I am saved by being Mama Chicken, in every way.

How to Talk Evangelical by the Amazing Addie Zierman.  If you don’t already stop by her site or subscribe to it, I recommend that you do so immediately.  She’s witty, deep and never fails to hit home.  Soon you will secretly hope she becomes your new BFF, as I do.  (and hope she’s not creeped out by it)

My sweet friend Jill Burden is blogging her way through their Russian adoption.  Jill is a stunning person who never ceases to fill my heart and make it pop with joy.  I highly recommend giving her a follow.

On our TV

Well we’ve been doing a lot of Olympics this past week, otherwise it’s been business as usual.  I’m catching up on Medium with Patricia Arquette from forever ago and in the evenings we catch up on Food Network shows or the Daily Show.

Although I must say that our TV watching is going down and we are thinking of giving up our DVR package and going to a totally Hulu / Netflix based thing.

Creative Outlets 

I’ve been working on a beautiful photography prop tassel blanket for my favorite photographer friend, Courtney Folsom, which isn’t quite done yet, but I’m sure will make it’s way into some gorgeous baby photography soon.

wine and yarn, yes please.

Other than that I have a confession to make, I’ve gotten hooked (no pun intended) on really good yarn.  I found all this hand dyed gorgeous stuff up in gourmet yarn stores in Michigan and I plead the 5th on how much I spent on yarn this month.

I will say that I am happily making some lovely Christmas Presents for friends and family, going for another all home made Christmas. Here is my favorite pattern right now just in case you Crochet.

What the kids and I are up to

We were traveling for almost half the month so there were a lot more playtime options
up in Michigan.  Now that we’re home we’ve been in the middle of a hot streak and since we have no shade in our backyard, we have had to get creative with indoor play.

We have developed a routine of the Farmers Market every Wednesday morning and
Garage Sale-ing every Friday morning.  We get snacks and cruise the town looking for crazy deals and kid clothes, and shoes, they always need shoes.  Last week I found this quirky, vintage cabbage bowl.

I’ve been into sensory play with them indoors so we made a bean/rice box with dried beans and rainbow rice.  This is a great idea if you can be cool with mess as your little ones experiment with the cool textures and colors in the box.  Here’s a how to blog post

I suggest you do it on a sheet or outside if you can, it’s messy, and you have to be okay with that.  Yesterday we hid pennies and coins in the rice/beans and let them hunt through it and keep the cash.

Top Photos From July

Kids on the back patio celebrating freedom in every way

gorgeous Michigan blueberries in the morning sun

My happy place, Lake Michigan, Holland, MI

Childhood = your sister shoving ice cream up your nose

My Uncle Mike teaching Caedmon to dunk

My BFF Becky at the Pizza place where we met over a large pepperoni, we were employees.

Still my baby

Now’s the part where you tell me what you were up to and into this July, wrap it up and put a bow on it!

  • http://howtotalkevangelical.addiezierman.com Addie Zierman

    Thanks for the kind words about my and my blog. That was a nice little note to wake up to. When we become BFFs, you’ll have to teach me how to crochet because I always envy people who do pretty things with yarn. Also, I love that you have the farmer’s market and garage sales just built into your routine. Jealous.

    In July I’ve been into long, sandy beach mornings, Madeline L’Engle’s Crosswick Journals, and decluttering. I started July out watching my sister get married; I finished it off watching the sun rise over Duluth. I heart summer.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Hey I am totally game to teach you to make lovely things with yarn. I can even help you over the internet machines too if you’re game. And the farmer’s market / garage sale thing has much to do with a lack of options.

      You are the 3rd person this month to nudge me to read Madeline L’Engle, done and done.

  • Lisa K

    I, for one, am happy July is over. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a busier month. Family vacation, moving, countless reunions with friends, Jury duty, moving, moving, moving…. Now, day 1 of August also marks day 1 of being able to get back to normal life. I can’t wait to be able to cook dinner, something that I haven’t done in 3 weeks.

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Yes, Lisa must get into that new kitchen and I’m very glad that you’re life is slowing down. Too busy months are overwhelming.

  • http://gravatar.com/suelikkel Sue Likkel

    For me, July began with helping a friend through her mom’s death, supporting my sons as they put in outrageous weekly hours picking raspberries, beginning and completing an online class on award-winning children’s literature and ending with starting my own WordPress blog. And here in the Pacific Northwest, August is blueberry month so here comes sauces & smoothies & muffins & pancakes!

    • http://staceydaze.blogspot.com Stacey

      I very well may have used that Caron pattern to make a scarf once. I still have the scarf but not the pattern I used. I’ve simply been making Truth Wraps, a lot of them, but I did see a scarf/warp/neck thing on Pinterest that I adored. http://pinterest.com/pin/215398794648669805/ It’s actually a knitting pattern on Ravelry, but I will find a way to make the hook do it’s magic. :)

      I love Addie too, but don’t tell her I said so. Then she’d really worry about stalkers! LOL

      I read too many “How to write” books in the past month, but am relatively pleased with the filter I had as I read them. http://staceydaze.blogspot.com/p/reading-lists.html My favorite was the last Memoir Project which was short but thrilled my heart. http://marionroach.com/memoir-blog/

      We share the same heat, so much of my days are spent hibernating inside, though my boys are up at Grand Lake for camp until Thursday. There, there’s my bow with links even. :)

      • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

        Love that scarf!!! I have been eyeballing one like that on pinterest too! If you figure out how to crochet it, please do share.

        • Heather Tiger

          Hi friend. I totally enjoyed your sharing and of course keep up with you daily on FB, twitter, and Instagram….geez, I’m a stalker. Anyways.., I have been loving on Kasen, trying to entertain my constant ball of energy, Micah, and struggling to find a routine that works for us all that allows for writing and creative time for me, getting chores done, and keeping marriage interesting! I’m a bit overwhelmed and wish I could press pause on my life in order to catch up, get organized, and maybe even a bit ahead of things.
          Looking forward to your August posts!

          • Michelle (Peterson) Redmond

            Well, let’s see…you’ve actually met me, although it’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen each other in person. To keep it simple, my husband and I have been moving in the last couple weeks. No longer are we on the SW side of OKC (good-bye short drive to the airport) since we have relocated to the far north reaches of Edmond. Really it’s debatable whether we’re closer to Edmond or Guthrie, but the post office seems to think we belong to Edmond territory. I still get a kick out of the fact that two Hudsonville gals ended up in Oklahoma! Thanks for an entertaining read this morning!

          • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

            Hello Michelle, so glad you left this comment! I had no idea you were still in OK! Edmond’s a neat area, we are up in that part of OKC a lot, actually this weekend we will be bringing Kel to the airport and celebrating our anniversary.

          • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

            Oh Heather, if I had to have a stalked I’d want it to be you, also I don’t think you’re a stalker.

          • Heather Tiger

            LOL!!! Well, when you need one, let me know!
            =)

        • staceydaze

          Will do!

    • http://leannepenny.wordpress.com leannepenny

      Yum for all things berries related! And I’m so sorry about your friend’s loss but my heart is glad to read that you were deeply supportive.

  • staceydaze

    I just went to spam for having too many links. BWAHAHAHA!

  • Amber

    My july was full of packing both my house and office and moving from GR to Holland, ending my full time job for an undetermined amount of time and figuring out what life is like staying home with my 8 month old everyday. I also began to do more running for this weekends color run. i look forward to some reading, crafting and cooking time very soon!