What I’m Into (february 2014 edition)

Another month is drawing to a close, so I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for a shiny new edition of This is What I’m Into.


Month in Very Brief Review: We got back from Florida and it was snowing, the house was wrapped in yarn, literally, see above. Soon we got the go ahead to buy a house on the NE side of Grand Rapids, but we couldn’t find one we liked… yet. Then it snowed and snowed some more and we had GF heart pizzas for Valentines day. Then it briefly melted but proceeded to cream us with the coldest weather yet. Cold Cold Cold.


On My (and my kid’s) Nightstand(s)
Three Wishes, Liane Moriarty- This is a novel about three triplets with huge personalities and even bigger life crises. I love Moriarty as a novelist, reading her books is like going back to a pan of brownies. Have I used that metaphor before? Crap, feels like i have… This is one of her earlier books and it shows, but it’s still a great read. 

Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld– Set in a high brow prep school, this is a novel of teenage angst and self-involvement. You know how you spent large chunks of high school worrying about what other people thought of you? This book captures this flawlessly, almost painfully. I liked this book more after it was done than I did while I was reading it, after reading of two Curtis Sittenfeld’s I’m wondering if I’ll pick up another…

This is where I leave you, Jonathan Tropper– (Very rated R) A highly HIGHLY dysfunctional family gets together to sit shiva to honor the death of their father. It’s well written and nuanced, I enjoyed it in the end but there were certainly some cringeworthy scenes. I’m curious as to how it will play out as a film. It was MADE For Jason Bateman to be sure.

Extraordinary Jane: If you haven’t purchased a copy of my beautiful friend Hannah Harrison’s gorgeous new children’s book, go now!

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I also spent the month picking through Launch, Contagious and It Starts with Food, but I didn’t finish… as my reading list always reflects, I suck a reading non fiction.

On the Small Screen- This hasn’t been a big TV or movie month for us, I’m all caught up on HIMYM and Big Bang Theory, very ready for Grey’s Anatomy and Parenthood to start back up and ALMOST done with Dexter. The last season is weird and I’m ready to be done with the series.

Blog Love
My friend Jill Burden nailed it with this post on infertility and surrendering to God’s plan. The best thing I’ve read in so long. “Life is about what God is doing, but it’s not about what God is doing for me.”

I’ve been reading and rereading “What my Mother Taught Me” from last October by Shauna Niequist: Because these days I need the reminder.  Everyone benefits when women tap into the passions and use the gifts that God has given them.

And I’m really excited about this new Lent Series coming up by my friend Megan of Sorta Crunchy. “I look forward to this season with an anticipation that is bigger than I know what to do with most years”

Also, I found this post by Hollywood Housewife on work at home Mom outfits really helpful. “I’ve put together a few things for the creative, frazzled, beautiful, work-at-home mom.”

Best of (this) Blog Here’s what you might have missed.

What Mental Health isntdon’t assume that your big feelings and inconvenient emotions mean that you’re sick, feel what you need to feel, go to counseling, get to the bottom of it.

How Naming Our Church Taught me that my Dream Will Stay Exactly That: And in the end I learned a hard lesson that needed to be learned early: This is not going to be my dream church. It’s going to the church that God wants us to plant for the people who need more of Him

Oh, and yesterday I started telling the story of how Kel and I met… on the internet. Don’t miss this, it’s kind of insanely fun and romantic… and stuff.



Randomly- I’ve been a little bit stalking this movie setwhere Jason Segel is filming “The End of the Tour” 100 yards from my Aunt and Uncle’s front door. Because when does Hollywood come to Hudsonville?!?! Never, that’s when. So. Fascinating.

They’re making a biopic covering the life of David Foster Wallace, whose work I’ve shamefully never read, but need to.

In my Earbuds
Have you seen the Lego Movie with your kids? Well Kel did and now we listen to “Everything is Awesome” at least 27 times a day.

I had a conversation with our facebook group about helping me find workout songs and how I sort of don’t love Mandisa… and you all helped me figure out what to listen to while I work out.

I have all my music accessible on Spotify so click here to tune in


A candid demonstration of homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Hint: I don’t measure a thing.

Best Bites
We are in the beginning stages of a Whole 30, more on this later, but for now I shall tell you about food that was not Whole 30 compliant. 

My friend Lisa came over and made this homemade recipe for bang bang shrimp, which wasn’t as crunchy as the original but still amazing.

Okay I lied, this Paleo pot roast is amazing. So are these carrots.

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Cooking club Fare, Feb 2014. This month’s theme? Belated Valentines Day.

Non-Verbal Creativity- There has been very little in this department but I did remake this scarf again this month. It’s my favorite scarf pattern BY FAR. Pin it, it now!

Okay, that’s my February. What about you? Read anything good? Eat anything unforgettable? 

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  • http://ShanaNorris.net/ Shana Norris

    I read This is Where I Leave You in Feb. too and, like you, I put a little disclaimer in my review. It was so funny though. I agree about Jason Bateman. Not sure about the casting for Wade. Rose Byrne will be perfect as Penny.

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

      Oh I just checked, didn’t know It’s Dax Shepherd! That’s a surprise, yeah I saw him as a bit more leathery and testosteroney… Dax is sort of cool, hippie… non conformist.

  • Adele

    Curtis Sittenfeld is one of my favourites. Prep captured my experience of high school near perfectly (I’m embarrassed to say!) Glad you enjoyed it.

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

      Seriously I think my struggle is just that I don’t want to reminisce on that time of my life, I like it in the past.

  • http://justoneoftheboys.com/ Ginger L

    What a great round up! I haven’t read any of the books from this month – but I’ll be adding them to my GoodReads list posthaste! :)

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

      Great! I need to follow you on there, do I already? I’ll make work of it!

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

    I’ve read two books by Sittenfield, including Prep, and enjoyed neither. Her novels have such interesting premises but they fall flat for me. But I know I’m in the minority there so I’m glad you liked it. Love that you’re stalking movie sets! Hope you get a good star sighting. I will be curious to hear how your Whole 30 goes.