What I’m Into, August 2013

I love zinnias!

I love zinnias!

Enjoying… the gorgeous, cool temperatures we had much of the month. Highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s, in August ,in Missouri??? Yes, please and thank you!

Planning…to go back to work part time in early September. I love my job, so I am happy to go back, but the logistics of getting myself ready for work and getting two kids to daycare & preschool is kind of stressing me out. But I am very thankful that I’m able to stretch the last 6 weeks of my FMLA leave to allow me to work part-time for several months.

Excited for…fall! It’s my favorite season. The leaves changing, the crisp fall air, the fall festivals, football games, cute fall clothes… I love it all!

Cooking…lots of crockpot meals these days. Monday is crockpot night, which works well because I can prep it on Sunday and it’s awesome to start out the week with a meal all cooked and almost no clean-up.

Watching…So You Think You Can Dance (no spoilers please! I’m way behind everyone else, thanks to Fox’s annoying decision not to put episodes on Hulu until 30 days after they air) and Suits.

Listening…to the It’s a Thing podcast. I need some new music suggestions (from you!)… I am totally out of the loop these days.

Hoping…my veggie-packed lunches and some high-protein snacks will help me kick the raging sweet tooth that I’ve been having lately.  (i don’t think it’s working… I might have been eating chocolate frosting with a spoon earlier this week.)

Reading…Crime and mystery novels galore! I finished an Agatha Cristie novel, and I’m currently reading two more mysteries, including one by Robert Galbraith (aka a little author you might have heard of named J.K. Rowling!)

Fitness-ing…lots of walking! I am also doing a few planks here and there, very cautiously. I hope to start running again soon, but I won’t get clearance from my doctor to start that until sometime in mid-September (I hope).

Linking up with HopefulLeigh.

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What I’m Into (June 2013 edition)

IMG_1441Enjoying…the delightful and hilarious things that have been coming out of my 3yo son’s mouth lately.  He is newly obsessed with superheroes and regularly informs me that I drive a superhero car.  (A mid-size Toyota crossover… apparently my superhero disguise is a soccer mom.)

Planning…what else?  For the baby that arrives in less than a month!  I’m waiting for the baby shower at work, then I’m going to have to go on a mini-shopping spree for diapers and a few others necessities.

Excited for…the new church service my husband is starting at a second site in downtown Springfield.  It’s a neat opportunity to reach some new people who aren’t currently involved in a church.

Cooking…to stock up my freezer for when the baby comes.  I haven’t actually started this yet, but it’s in the planning phases.  Do you have a favorite freezer meal recipe to share?

Watching…White Collar. My husband actually got me hooked on this slick USA show about an FBI agent and his former-white-collar-criminal-sidekick who investigate art heists, embezzlements, and other white-collar crimes.  It’s totally mindless, fun TV — with main characters who are very easy on the eyes.  Perfect summer viewing.

Listening…nothing really.  I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I’m enjoying the cheesy “songs of summer” (by Daft Punk & Robin Thicke), but hey – Top 40 radio keeps me young, right?

Hoping…for cool weather (ha!), continuing to feel good for the next 4 weeks, an uneventful delivery, a healthy baby, and a quick recovery.  So, you know, not much!

ReadingBread & Wine by Shauna Niequist, Elevate the Everyday by Tracy Clark (a photography book), and 7 by Jen Hatmaker.  And I just picked up the next Maisie Dobbs mystery novel from the library.  Yay!  My new favorite blog find is 3 Things for Mom, which has “a truth, a tip, and a find” each day from different contributors.

Fitness-ing…still hanging in there with my spinning classes, prenatal yoga, and weightlifting.  I am really excited about the prospect of being able to go for a run again, even though I know I’ll have a bit of recovery time before that’s a practical option.

Linking up with HopefulLeigh.What I'm Into button

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What I’m Into (May 2013 edition)


We are into…eating outside whenever possible!

Watching…the new Arrested Development episodes on Netflix.  They’re ok – the first couple are not great but they seem to be growing on me.  And I think they might get better if I watch them again.  I just have to ask… what did Portia di Rossi do to her face?

Enjoying…our beautiful late spring/early summer weather in the Ozarks (when it’s not pouring down rain).  I know it’s not long before the heat and humidity of summer kicks in, so I’m getting outside as much as possible to enjoy this while it lasts!

Planning…for a week-long organization/cleaning rampage when my husband and son are out of town soon.

Excited for…my baby shower in a few weeks.  I know it’s a little silly to have a shower for a second baby, but I am really looking forward to getting together with all my friends, and my sister is coming to visit, too!

Cooking…summery things!  Everything grilled, including my favorites, shish kebabs and grilled veggies, rediscovering my love for iced tea, cucumber & sweet onion salad.  I can’t wait for good tomatoes and watermelons.

Listening…to not much these days, although I downloaded the NoiseTrade Summer Mixtape and it seems promising (mostly folky/alt-rock stuff).

Hoping…that my son will magically decide to potty train himself sometime soon.  Clearly he’s not going to do it on my terms.  My patience is growing thin.

ReadingCold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist, and I’ve got An Economist Gets Lunch by Tyler Cowen and A Circle of Quiet by Madeline L’Engle.

Fitness-ing… same old boring stuff — spinning, weights, prenatal yoga

Inspired by…the outpouring of love and support for the tornado survivors in Moore, Oklahoma.  I live in Tornado Alley, too, and I remember how devasting the Joplin tornado was just 2 years ago.  That is really scary stuff!  (I type gritting my teeth as another big storm looms in the west…)

Linking up with HopefulLeigh’s What I’m Into (May 2013 edition).

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What I’m Into (April 2013 Edition)

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Watching… all the Harry Potter movies I can get my hands on.  Our visit to Warner Brothers studio has reignited my love for all things HP.

Enjoying…warm weather – FINALLY!

Planning… a trip to Kansas City with my mom and sister to celebrate my mom’s birthday (better late than never)

Excited for…starting to set up a nursery for Baby S.

Cooking…in double batches as much as possible.  My grocery bill always shocks me when I do this, but it makes my life so much easier when I pull the second batch out of the freezer a few weeks later.  I figure if I get in the habit of this now, I’ll have a nicely stocked freezer once the baby comes.

Listening…to my favorite podcasts while doing meal prep for the week on Sunday afternoons – This American Life, Cast On, and The Kitchen Hour.

Reading…Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz and The Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. 

Fitness-ing…back to the weight room.  I’m about to give up on the group fitness classes at the Y, there’s just too much I can’t do these days between no sit-ups and not laying on my stomach.  I need to put together a couple of simple weight routines that I can rotate between.

Inspired by…the great speakers and big ideas I heard at the Q Conference last week.  It’s one of those “drinking from a firehose” experiences that I’m still processing, but oh my goodness – so much to think about from just 2 1/2 short days.

Linking up with HopefulLeigh’s What I’m Into (April 2013 edition).

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What I’m Into (March 2013 Edition)

What I'm Into buttonWatching… Mindy Project and New Girl.  I love some good absurd humor.  Also, Nick and Jess?  I’m totally rooting for them.

Enjoying…waiting my son get so excited about opening Easter eggs.

Planning… a much-needed vacation to Los Angeles.  Currently taking suggestions for places to go, restaurants to try, and things to do.  So far, all I know is that I’m going to Q Conference (sort of like TED talks with a Christian focus) and the La Brea tar pits (something I studied in elementary school and have been fascinated by ever since).

Excited for… celebrating Easter with my immediate family today (Easter basket & small egg hunt for J), my church family on Sunday morning, and my extended family on Sunday afternoon (looks like the weather is going to cooperate for a big egg hunt outside!)

Cooking…oatmeal banana muffins, to use up some very ripe bananas

Listening…to a couple of Neon Trees albums I got from the library.

Reading…Pardonable Lies, the third Maisie Dobbs mystery novel.

Fitness-ing…my doctor has given me some exercise restrictions, but I’m still enjoying yogalates classes at the Y (minus the ab crunches), spinning classes with a HR monitor, and prenatal yoga (ahh…. an hour & a half of restorative poses)

Inspired by…God’s love on Easter morning.

Linking up with HopefulLeigh’s What I’m Into (March 2013 Edition).

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Saturday senses

excited about:: VACATION!
worried about:: forgetting something, missed naptimes, travel logistics…
reading:: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
planning:: where we’re going to go hiking
loving:: new running buddies
hating:: 105 degree days
wondering:: if I will recognize all my second cousins at the reunion
craving:: mountain air
listening:: Pepper and Chips, best-named mix CD ever
watching:: Friday Night Lights, Season 2

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Meme! Meme!

You’ve all seen it, now it’s time for the Zarah edition of the world-famous knitting meme!
(Keep in mind that I am a new-ish knitter, so these answers only reflect my experiences so far.)
All-time favorite yarn to knit with? Hmm… I really haven’t used too many that I couldn’t live without. I guess my favorite would have to be Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed. I used it to knit Midwest Moonlight and I ordered something similar (another tweedy DK) to knit Cutaway… which I promise I will start soon!
Your favorite needles?
I do love Addi turbos, but I’m too cheap to own very many pairs. As soon as I realized I was going to be knitting on a regular basis, I bought myself the Denise convertible needle set. I really love it — I can knit anything (almost) without having to buy new needles! I use them to knit flat and circular. The only problem… I’m starting to knit things on smaller needles, and they only go to size 5.
The worst thing you’ve ever knit?
I bet regular readers think they know what I’m going to say to this one. But no, I am holding out hope that the Men’s Zipped Raglan will not be a total loss, despite its many negative characteristics. I would have to say that my worst project was the Honeymoon Cami — nothing against the pattern, but it just wasn’t flattering on me. I redesigned the straps and neckline about 7 times, and it still looks BAD. It was the first non-accessory clothing item I knit, so luckily I did it in some cheap cotton (which was also unpleasant, but that’s another story.)
Your most favorite knit pattern?
I love the simplicity of Midwest Moonlight from Scarf Style.
Best knit book(s) or magazine(s)?
Right now, I would have to say Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I think I will eventually knit almost everything from that book.
Your favorite knitalong?
Umm… I’ve never done one before. I’m currently signed up for Peaceful Palms over at Nona‘s, but I’m still looking for the perfect pattern. Any suggestions?
Your favorite knitblogs?
Oh, so many! Actually I try to keep it trimmed down to about 40, which include biggies like Yarn Harlot and Crazy Aunt Purl and others with a more personal connection, that I write to often, like Dances with Yarn, Cake Addict, and Unwind.
My new interest has been knitblogs in Spanish. I figure it’s a good way to keep my language skills fresh (I spent a year in Spain during college) and be prepared for yarn shopping if I ever go back. For this, I have been reading Cafe con leche, por favor and Waltzing Knitilda (bi-lingual).
The knit item you wear the most?
I’m still working on that one. Midwest Moonlight is my proudest knitting moment so far, but I still need to weave in the ends before she’s ready to leave the house.
I tag: Jeannine, Stephanie, Coffeygirlb, and Whitty.
(Update: Links are done!
I took out some of the questions that I didn’t have answers to — for the complete meme, go see Mason-Dixon Knitting.)

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