What I’m Into (March 2015 Edition)

For the first time in a Year I am linking up with Leigh Kramer for a “This is What I’m Into” post. Look at met go! Holla! And other good !!! words! #gettingmygrooveback

Well I’m sitting on the bed in our weekend home after a rough night of sleep thanks to my baby Clara. Kel is preaching at a local nursing home and it’s sleeting outside. I’m wearing my running gear but I’m wussing out due to sleet.

My head is exploding right now and I’m in ALL THE THINGS mode.

You know the “All the things” meme?

It’s this guy


No really, ALL. THE. THINGS.

I’m the “All the things” guy on a normal day, but with the move and the selling of the house and the wanting to plant a garden and write blog posts I’m the all the things guy in overdrive.

My brain is exhausted and excited, it wants to attack in full force and run away ALL OF THE TIMES!

So that being said I think I will attempt my first “This is what I’m into” in a year. A year. Eesh.

I can’t even remember my categories so, let’s start some new ones. Shall we?

Tweetable Month in Review (140 characters or less)
Mich is all: Cold! warm! j/k-cold! Move 8 may kill me. Painting cabinets forever? Living in 2 houses is weird, bring bagels. Spring is that you?

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On my Nightstand

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan- This book is as hilarious as his stand-up and perhaps more so because it’s all about parenthood, which is totally my jam. Obviously. My favorite part of the book was probably the diagrams about how he and his wife manage to put their family of seven to bed and still have a marriage with a bit of sanity.

Happier at Home By Gretchen Rubin– Listened to this one in the car on my way to and from playdates and preschool pickup.

I loved it and want to buy my own copy to reference and mark up. It’s the sort of book that calls the engaged reader to action. It’s all about living life in an intentional way so as to cultivate happiness. Gretchen takes the reader through her year-long happiness project in which each month was dedicated to a specific happiness focus such as family, parenthood, neighborhood, marriage and time.

I think Christian culture often throws happiness under the bus as a selfish endeavor and even end result but I’m beginning to see how wrong we really were.

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand– The first non-summer Novel by one of my favorite novelists. The story centers around an inn-keeper and his family at Christmas time. It was a quick and breezy winter read perfect for a session in front of the fire.

100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake– If you’ve know me long you’ll know that I always flip flop on my theology of food. Juicing! Paleo! Nothing but wine, bananas and almonds! (not really, but I could probably make that work) 

I really love Leake’s balanced approach to food, which is an elimination of processed foods and a return to a 100% whole food diet including conscientious sourcing and local eating. I think this one may stick. I checked it out from the library but I am planning on buying it for keeps. A great read full of useful information on clean eating with the family in mind.

Currently Reading or Checked Out: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzi, Sabrina by Ron Rash, Montessori Today by Paula Polk Lillard, The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz, Ship of Brides by JoJo Moyes,  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barabara Kingsolver

chalkboard wineglass

Commence your wine glass jealousy… now. This is my “it’s been a long day” wine glass.

On the small screen
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt– My friend Jennei texted me about this show the evening before I wound up in bed with a head cold. Fortuitous!

This Netflix exclusive is the best thing I have seen in months and months and months. The show follows Kimmy (Ellie Kemper of The Office), an “Indiana Mole Woman” who emerges from a bunker after being locked up by a crazy religious cult-pastor (Jon Hamm of Mad Men) for 15 years. After doing a spot on The Today Show, she decides to make a life in New York City and moves into a sketchy basement apartment with a gay roommate. It’s very girl power and hillarious. The theme song alone is worth the watch.

Chuck- This is something that Kel and I are watching while we attempt to get Clara to sleep. It’s a great watch to laugh and wind down in the evening, spies and nerds… can’t go wrong. Also, I adore Zachary Levi now, he must do more things pronto.

The Office (US) – I never finished so now I am doing so, while doing laundry and such. I am cautiously curious about the post Michael seasons.

Parks and Rec- I wasn’t a huge fan of the first few episodes so I gave up but now I have been starting it again while I paint cabinets. Only time will tell.

As you can see VERY little if any of my TV watching is just TV watching. Multi-taskers gotta multi.

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In the (newly remodeled!) kitchen

Baked Oatmeal– This is both breakfast and dessert. THANK YOU KELLY! You simply need to make this recipe. My friend Kelly makes it with cranberries and almonds and I used some dried cherries from aldi. It’s a perfect snack, breakfast and something I want to have in my fridge always and forever amen.

Butternut Cauliflower Soup- I don’t know if the recipe for this is online yet but if it isn’t I will CERTAINLY post it. It’s a creamy, veggie heavy soup that is perfect as a side-car to a salad or with dinner.

Chow Granola- I hosted a big family breakfast this weekend and had SO many requests to share this recipe. It’s a simple toasted oat recipe that can be fancified or not. It’s your call.

weighted blanket

Non-Verbal Creativity
Weighted Blanket– Our oldest Noelle has some sensory processing issues, so this month I made her an 8lb weighted blanket using sweet fox and chevron materials. I referenced a variety of online tutorials to get it finished and yes, I think it’s helping. Talk to me if you want my tips on making one and make sure that you weight it accordingly for your child.

Chalk Painted Cabinets– This month I promise that I will post about how we chalk painted our cabinets. Maybe. I didn’t really photo the process. Maybe I will do a tips post? Would you want that? Either way I was hesitant to try chalk paint given the price but it’s now popping up at JoAnn fabrics and Lowes so I went for it and I’m pleased with my results!

Chalkboard Painted Fridge– I did it, you can do it. Yes it feels crazy but if you have an ugly fridge you may as well go for it. I used this tutorial, I did NOT use the magnetic primer, I basically got a quart of chalkboard paint from Lowers, a trim roller and went for it. Buh-Bye Ugly almond fridge!

Coming soon: felted legging patches, baby bonnets, zig zag quilt and a pom pom wall hanging. Maybe… 

Easy Chalkboard Painted Fridge

So much better.

Best of the Blog

I didn’t blog much this past month, but this post on Home and HGTV Snark struck a chord with you guys and I was beyond grateful to resonate over such an important topic that is hitting so close to home for me right now.

“Your home will change, you will grow into it and maybe out of it, and then you will leave it behind for new life to blossom and grow there. But you and your people are the story and come what (or where) may, you have it in you to live your story well.”

Best of Instagram

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Coming in with 50 likes, Smily Clara in a Cart at JoAnn Fabrics.

Ooh, Ohh, Also! 

I’m training for a 5k using the C25K app alongside my runkeeper app. Yes I often start and then quit such things but I think this one is going to stick. May 9. Expect an insta-pic.

Aaaaaaand I think that’s all. Any questions?

What’s your favorite book this month? Favorite Bite? What meme would you be and why?



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You can also find me on twitter and Facebook as well. Join the conversation on all fronts, that’s my recommendation…

  • annevermeulen

    Yay for all of these! Aidan loves his weighted blanket – he is never without it, especially at night. I sort of want one for myself, but if you go on body weight to calculate the blanket weight, I think mine would end up being like a slab of concrete. And yes, the early Parks & Rec episodes? Meh. Season 2 on? Brilliant. As for the Office – there were bumps post-Michael, not gonna lie. I feel like the last season was true repentance from that – you’ll like it.

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

      OMG adult weighted blanket would both weigh and cost a ka-thousand dollars. I borrow Noelle’s from time to time though. I saved money on mine by buying the Poly Pellets from JoAnn’s with coupons.

      I will keep on with both Parks and Rec and The Office! Not that it leaves a life legacy or anything but … hey, good stuff nonetheless.

  • Meredith Bazzoli

    Leanne! This was my first “What I’m Into” in a year as well. In one way, I felt like “why didn’t I do this before!” but I’m focusing on a more positive message “WOW! I’m still blogging!”

    It seems like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is showing up in lots of bloggers March favorites! I devoured that show on a lazy day with my husband!

    I’m going to totally share that weighted blanket idea with some of my fellow Chicago teachers. We make so many resources ourself and that blanket is cute and such a great idea for our kids with sensory needs! Amazing work!

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

      Thank you Meredith! Yeah Still blogging! Can’t keep us down! For more than a year.. apparently.

      Let me know if I can offer any tips on weighted blankets! I think a lot of kids can benefit from things like this, uncomplicated interventions. Thanks!

  • http://www.allmannerofinspiration.com/ Sarah Caldwell

    Great post! Your wee little one is gorgeous! And love that wine glass! Also, love your painting your fridge with chalk paint. We got a new one this year, but I wish I’d have thought of that with our old one – awesome! I watched a few episodes of the ‘kimmy’ show in netflix – I like it alot, but I’m wanting to fall more in love with it, perhaps I just need to watch more episodes. But my favorite part of that show is TITUS BURGESS – he is EVERYTHING! (I’ve loved him as a Broadway diva for years!) :) I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who hasn’t blogged alot. (Though I’m still writing, so YAY!). Happy Spring to you! :) (Oh, my favorite read this month was Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I’m writing my ‘what I’m into’ post as we speak.)

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

      Thanks Sarah! Titus Burgess is the best! I am new to him as Kimmy is my first introduction. Blogging can go by the wayside when life gets crazy. I will have to check out that book. Always looking for well recommended novels.

  • http://Kendranicole.net/ Kendra

    Your monthly tweet is hilarious! I need to check out Gretchen Rubin, I’ve heard so many good things. 100 Days of Real Food also sounds interesting, I”ll be adding that to my TBR list!

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

      I hope You love Gretchen and 100 days of real food. I made the shrimp Alfredo tonight and wow, simple and fabulous.

  • http://www.mommablogsalot.com/ Jennifer E

    Loved Kimmy Schmidt – I became rabidly obsessed pretty quickly and burned through the whole season in like 3 days. Whoops. Hang in there on Parks and Rec – honestly it doesn’t become amazing until season 2 but then it just keeps getting better and better.

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

    I was so inspired after reading Happier at Home a couple years back. I can’t wait to read Rubin’s newest! Chuck was one of my favorite shows! I agree- Mr. Levi needs to get back out there. As far as Parks & Rec goes, persevere through the first season. Things really come together in the 2nd and then it’s pure magic. Clara is so cute!

  • http://simply-rea.blogspot.com Rea

    Oops, just lost my whole comment when I logged into Disqus. Sigh. OK, abbreviated version:

    Watching: Call The Midwife. Big, teary puddle on the floor here. Also, may start saying random things like “Oh, everything’s just tickety-boo!” Liked Kimmy Schmidt, but it made me feel like I’d just eaten too much candy. Chuck is one of my all time favorite shows.

    Reading: Just finished “Food, a Love Story” by Jim Gaffigan. Hilarious. Must go check out “Dad Is Fat” now. Also reading “All My Puny Sorrows” by Miriam Toews. She has a beautiful way with words, but I’m not entirely sure if the story is ever going to go anywhere.

    Favorite bites: All the things. Seriously. I went completely vegetarian this month and have never been happier, even though I’m cooking 2 separate meals now. I don’t need to worry about what the kids will like and balance that with what I liked (which often ended up pleasing nobody)…every meal is delicious. It was going to be a 6 month deal to lower my cholesterol and avoid having to take medication for that, but I don’t want to switch back.

    Hmm. Not very abbreviated.

  • Carol Hochhalter

    I want to do the chalk paint in my kitchen, so I’m interested in any tips you can give! Also, love the picture of Clara at JoAnn’s! Thanks for sharing your life!! Blessings on you and yours…

  • http://www.sheridacon.com/ Sheri Dacon

    I just read 100 Days of Real Food as well! I’ve been eating mostly real food for a while now, but I really want to get my whole family on board. Also, I loved Dad is Fat!! So funny!

  • fiona lynne

    Your Clara is just the cutest. Love seeing your instagram photos of her each week. You’re getting an incredible amount done mama! I watched Unbreakable this month too and really enjoyed it.