What I’m Into- June 2013 Edition

Once again another month comes to a close and I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for another edition of “What I’m Into”

Month in (super brief) review- This month has been all about settling, simplifying and organizing. It’s warmed up considerably here in Michigan and we’ve been making frequent trips to the splash pad.  I started back at the Driving School where I worked for 7 years previously and I’ve been averaging two days a week answering phones and scheduling road tests there.

Also we celebrated Father’s day by having my family here in our new home where Kel grilled burgers on his new grill.  Overall a lovely month I’d say.

June Collage 1

Favorite Moments- Meeting up on the beach with these lovely ladies, Watching my kids ride bikes for the first time and this rabbit… who I’m convinced can bring a smile on the worst of days.  Oh and Noelle writing her name for the first time, unprompted and proud!

On my Bookshelf: This month I completed three books!  Glory and Hallelujah! (Technically I have a few chapters to go in one of them but my self esteem needs the number 3 so lay off it.)

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver-  I’m moving ahead with Kingsolver so I’d give The Bean Trees a try.  I enjoyed it a lot more than Prodigal Summer and I found the characters rich and (mostly) relatable.  Either way the story line was interesting and held my attention even if Kingsolver does move a little slow for me at times.

Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes I love Keyes and I have ever since I read her for the first time.  She writes witty, Irish novels that are easy to keep going back to, like neatening the edges on a pan of brownies. The story line of Mercy Close involved a main character trying to survive with her second relapse with a major depressive episode.  She has such a spot on and unique perspective that, for me, it proves once again Keyes’s ability to write about heavy topics in a completely unique and refreshing way.  Give her a try and if she’s not your cup of tea then… apologies.

Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown– I’m nearing the end of this book by Brené Brown but I had to include it here because I wanted to spread the word about how life changing, head-messing it is.  This book centers around wholehearted living: shining a light on shame and loving yourself well, which seems revolutionary, but should it be?  After all God loves me deeply, why would I think he wants me to hate on myself? hmmmm…..

So: If you buy any book this month make it this one, use this link, do it now!

June Collage 3

On the small Screen: We are now completely caught up on Dr Who and with the last episode came a definitely sadness.  However we plunged ahead with our BBC love and started watching Sherlock, which we promptly finished as it’s only 6 episodes long.  Love it.  Want to kiss Cumberbatch… appropriately, on the cheek like you do.

Also I re-started parenthood and it’s now my go to show for folding laundry, and my 45 minute break while the kids are napping/resting.  I cry every time.  Every. Bloody. Time.  So good.

June Collage 2

Best Bites: It’s summertime in Michigan and this means fresh produce abounds.  One can’t drive to the store here without passing mom and pop roadside produce stands piled high with goodness and I’M LOVING IT.

Along those lines we’ve been grilling loads of freshly snapped asparagus, baking up rhubarb and filling out mouths with berries upon berries.

Earlier this month we went strawberry picking and came home with a whopping 14 lb box of berries which Kel quickly dispatched into jam.  So now life is all sticky sweet with strawberry jam.  Bliss.

Also, I’ve reigned it in health wise, but I still love ice cream, dilemma thy name is bed time snack!  Enter this recipe for chocolate banana “ice cream” which is just frozen bananas, cocoa powder and vanilla.  It totally fools my late night craving with less guilt and dairy hangover.

June Collage Crafty

Non Verbal Creativity: 

This month I’ve done my level best to focus more on reading and writing (not arithmetic) over crafting and creating with my hands.  And I’ve experienced a lot of peace and positive momentum from this change.  Yet, I did manage to finish this dresser project for Noelle’s bedroom as well as some quilted valances.

June Pic 6

Random Love For:

This Bubble Thing Our kids love bubbles, but we have one major issue with them and that is bubble spillage.  No sooner do we peel the foil off of a new thing of bubbles than the solution is all over the deck.  Then we saw the “bubble-nator” which is a bucket with wands that prevents spillage.  Now they can bubble to their heart’s content, hooray!

Pine Sol- I don’t always like to clean, but when I do… I do it with a big bucket of Pine Sol. I’ve realized this month that I’ve become some sort of odd Pine Sol evangelist.  I helped a friend move and actually ran out to get some Pine Sol because I couldn’t help myself.  There’s no feeling quite as odd as realizing that you’re in the middle of an unprompted, yet impassioned speech about how much time we waste with spray cleaners when a bucket of suds does the trick more effectively.

It doesn’t have to be Pine Sol (for me I can’t justify $9 on a small bottle of Meyer’s Clean Day) but  a few rags and a bucket of pine sol has made cleaning so much easier, I can wipe down anything with it, walls, counters, sticky floor spots and furniture.  (I’m already in a shame spiral for writing this… but you need to know of it’s wonders!)

Chambray- This month I bought a new Chambray skirt and dress (off my stylish friend Danielle) and have paired my chambray skirt with everything under the sun.  I’m in love with the light, breezy versatility of it.  Two months ago I didn’t know what Chambray meant (it’s light denim) and now I can’t get enough of it.

Mary Kay Nourishine Lip Gloss- My BFF is a Mary Kay Rep and so by supporting her I’ve fallen for some of their products but none so passionately as their lip gloss, which I own in three shades: Gold Rush (sadly discontinued) Berry Tart and Red Passion.  I want to get into lipstick, truly I do, but for me this heavy gloss is so much easier to throw on as I walk into wherever I’m going, late with a kid in each hand.

On the Blog:

This month I had my most popular post of all time with The Plea of the Pastor’s WifeThis is a sad part of the rhythm of most ministry families, healing at home when the people of God tear you apart.  

I also had great response with Strawberries and Snap JudgementDon’t we paint big pictures of each other in our minds based on a square inch of information?
I’ll be honest, I do.  I judge people, in my mind, all the time.  Constantly really.

So now it’s your turn, what are you into, up to, all about? 

This post contains links to my Amazon Affiliates Page.  Clicking through and making purchases supports this blog, and that makes me pretty happy, really.

  • Rebecca

    Awesome post as per usual!
    Thanks for the shout out, friend. I love keeping your lips looking gorgeous!

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      You do so quite well. So Happy to have you on the job 😉

  • Anne Bogel

    I love the phrase “non-verbal creativity.” That is all. :)

  • Hannah B

    I just finished Prodigal Summer (and loved it) so I’ll have to give The Bean Trees a try next!

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      You’ll love Bean Trees. I am on Poisonwood Bible now and excited to get into the meat of it.

  • http://rebootingworship.com/ Jamie Kocur

    I read The Bean Trees years ago and I remember really liking it. Sweet story.

    What am I into this month? A new job with little time for anything else. I haven’t had much energy left, and I’m learning to squeeze the things I Iove into the time I have left, which isn’t much.

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Jamie, seasons like that are so hard, I’ve been there and I find myself there often. It will pass as the madness levels out. At least I hope it will, I hope that balance washes over your life.

  • Adele Chapman

    The beach with those lovely ladies would’ve been a highlight for me too!
    As you know I adored your Pastor’s wife post, Leanne, so honest and beautifully written. x

    • http://www.leannepenny.com Leanne Penny

      Thank you sweet friend. Perhaps we will meet up on the beach someday.

  • http://www.therandomwritings.com/ Rachel G

    I didn’t know till now that there were other West Michigan bloggers! Maybe we’re just a little few and far between. I also love the fresh produce stands during the summer–my husband and I are planning on going strawberry picking tomorrow.

  • cara meredith

    Kingsolver and Brown – two of my favorites! (although I, ironically, I suppose, liked Prodigal Summer better than Bean Trees. To each her own. :)

  • http://ShanaNorris.net/ Shana Norris

    A fellow Marian Keyes fan checking in. I’ve read ten of her novels and have yet to be disappointed. The Mystery of Mercy Close is on my 2013 reading list.

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ Leigh Kramer

    I’ve never read Marian Keyes. In fact, that’s the only book I haven’t read out of the 5 in your book stack. Patron Saint of Liars was beautifully written but disappointed me. Animal Vegetable Miracle changed my life. Poisonwood Bible is a longtime fave and I adored The Language of Flowers. Some day I hope to try making strawberry jam. I’m going to try to master canning this summer, if I can. It’s been a looooooong time since I helped my Grandma! I was so jealous of your Michigan blogging meetup. Glad y’all could get together.

    Thanks for linking up with What I’m Into!

  • http://lauralucille.wordpress.com/ Laura Young

    I’ve added Marian Keyes to my Goodreads list. And Brene Brown as well…I was hooked after I read the first 3 chapters of I Thought It Was Me (But It Isn’t).

    Also, chambray is the best. Pretty sure my chambray shirt is one of my most worn items…I’m always trying to pair it with new things because it’s just so comfy. :)