What I’m Into, November 2015 Edition

Time for another round of This is what I’m into, hosted by Leigh Kramer.

Bonus Halloween Picture, this was obviously, technically a few hours before November started.

Bonus Halloween Picture, this was obviously, technically a few hours before November started.

Hey guys, no I am not dead, yes life is still good here in Southwestern Michigan. I have actually been doing a lot of writing and typing, but it’s been the sort I get paid for, which has led to ludicrous blog neglect. Sorry about that.

November was busy and unexpectedly warm, Clara turned one despite my deep protests. My baby is one… I can’t even. I participated in Hollywood Housewife’s #onedayhh again, documenting a day of my life and then a few days later I hopped on a plane to Oklahoma to visit some much loved people in my former hometown. Then home again, a blur of thanksgiving with family and a trip to the tree farm for a freshly cut and overpriced Frasier fir tree.


Caedmon crying next to the tree he found at the though of us choosing another one… and then his excitement over it all fancied up.

The month I started work with a new project, it’s a movie, I can’t say much yet because I have a bunch of questions myself. But here is a sneak peek… and here’s another one. Like that page, it’ll come in handy later.

I have felt introverted this month, I’ve been huddled inside, still doing some hiding with laundry but I’m getting there. I think I need to watch less TV… this seems obvious but it’s been a major moving stress/new baby crutch for me lately. I at least need to watch less dark tv, Criminal Minds may be messing with me. Again, this seems obvious as I type it out.

Podcasts / In my earbuds– This month I started and finished Mystery Show, which I loved. I dearly need Starlee Kines to be my new best friend. I kept up with Sorta Awesome as well, and I got to hang out with my dear friend Megan Tietz in person.

I also have a few favorite playlists on my Spotify account, Peaceful Christmas, Exhale and “A New Thing” which I created to whisper truth to me when I lose it…

Reading– This month was almost a reading wash, but I did manage to listen to Orange is the New Black, which I picked up from the Library. I also read a 1/3 of All the Light We Cannot See before I had to finally return it to the library. I think I’m the only one who couldn’t get into it. I may go to Literary hell for this guys.

Nightly routine....

Nightly routine….

On the Small Screen- Well, I finished off the Good Wife, so much drama in those last two seasons. The weepy, crazy kind. Still a good watch, I haven’t started in on the new season because I don’t feel like paying CBS to do so and we don’t have DVR.

Master Chef Jr- The kids and I have been wicked into this show and it has Caedmon pulling a chair to “help me” (serious quotations here friends) in the kitchen. He really is learning and it feels like a show we can all enjoy and even get something out of.

Criminal Minds- This show is such a back and forth, I love it, the crime, the drama! But Oh it’s so so dark and some nights I swear it leaves me depressed with weird dreams.

Scandal- Can I be honest, the winter Finale (this is apparently a thing now) really left me disappointed on many levels. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone and I get what Shonda was trying to do but I think I may be done with Scandal now. It jumped the shark for me last week.

In the Kitchen- As always I made my famous squash casserole for thanksgiving, Dear God I adore this recipe so. You should make it, just make it and eat the whole thing by yourself on the couch. It’s squash! What’s the worst that could happen? Then I also did this green bean casserole, but I used this recipe for the onions and I will never go back.

I know these are cliché holiday dishes but you will be shocked at what happens when you fix them from scratch.


Travelling girls

Favorite Moments of November-
Clara’s reaction to everyone singing happy birthday to her…

Eating Quiche with Megan, a dear friend from the Blog world whom I wasn’t sure I’d actually clap eyes on again.

Chasing one of my best friends, Joely, around target and wondering how she gets those little legs moving so fast.

Sipping wine and Lacroix with old friends on Joely’s couch.

Church at H2O in Ada, walking away feeling whole and fed.

Dressing Clara in Hanna Anderson PJs. You guys, I never thought $40 PJs would be worth it, (they were a gift) but wow… that’s all I want forever and ever amen.

The sight of Caedmon camped out next to his favorite Christmas tree, poutiest lip you ever have seen.

The nostalgia of pulling each ornament out of it’s wrapping and remembering before the kids ran up and took it to the tree.

Actually talking about Jesus with a child at church this past weekend, in the most organic way possible.

Yogurt, I just really loved yogurt this month. I like Greek Gods the most, although I need to splurge on Noosa.

Mulled wine, this is my favorite.


Instagram of the Month (follow me on Insta here… Or don’t… whatever.)

You guys voted for Sleeping Clara, Clara always wins Insta.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 2.44.22 PM

But in case you missed future blogger Clara, here you are.


Things I’m looking forward to

Students as teachers night at Caedmon’s Montessori school.

I just splurged and bought a Day Designer planner, in the gold stripe Flagship edition. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Delving into Advent and really quieting myself as I feel this season in ways that don’t have a list or budget.

Sending out Christmas cards and using my new address stamp from Etsy.

Reading more this month.

Finally fitting into my pre-Clara jeans? Maybe in January… February… whatever.

Putting on my Christmas sweater Jamberry nail wraps.



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

    Love your Halloween costumes! It took me a while to get into All The Light We Cannot See- I was impressed by the writing but it wasn’t especially gripping. And then BAM. It reeled me in and it is one of the best novels I read all year. I say all that not to guilt you. It may not be your thing! But it might be worth giving it another go. Or not. Your call! Clara is the cutest!!! I’ve made Smitten Kitchen’s version of Green Bean Casserole a few times with great results. I’ll have to see how it compares to the one you made.

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

      I will retry All the light… I really will. Perhaps even soon, it was just overdue and making me feel bad about myself. I need it on my own terms.

  • Megan Hall

    I LOVE the halloween costumes. They are so cute,

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

      Thanks! I had fun with them… maybe too much?

  • http://inthewarmholdofyourlovingmind.blogspot.com Sarah Denley

    Y’alls costumes are THE cutest I saw this year and I know a lot of cute families =)

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

      Awwww Man thank you!!!! I will take that as a huge compliment.

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

    Ahhhh, so much goodness here! And BRAVO to writing gigs that pay – methinks that is a legit reason to neglect the bloggy-blog sometimes. :) I’m looking forward to checking out your spotify playlists (making playlists is one of my favorite things). And I agree with the Scandal finale–I’ve been invested in that Shonda-land show the least, but I just couldn’t get behind all that happened in that episode too. Oh well–I’m still holding onto Grey’s and How to Get Away With Murder. (which is ALSO crazy-town.) And your sweet baby Clara–how cute she is!!! (And love the Clara & blogging pic). :) I haven’t gotten into ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ yet either, but if you enjoy Anthony Doerr’s writing, check out his memoir about living in Rome for a year (Four Seasons in Rome)–it is fabulous!

  • http://literarylindsey.com Lindsey Stefan

    Yay for audiobooks! How/when do you listen? It always seems like a good idea, but then I remember I have small kids and I’m never sure what is going to be said next!