Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Few Faves

Sunday is one of at least two jail runs I make each week. It can be hectic, but it's the very best kind, because I get to make eyes at the two cutest baby boys on the planet and listen to all of Becky's wild, heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious stories. She claps her hands together for emphasis and I can almost see the period. between. her. words. And on top of all that? Robert, with his shiny teeth and endless capacity for joy.

I drove home thinking for a second that today was the middle of August, with its faint-feeling air and all the sun and wind. We grilled hotdogs for dinner with Cory's family and I soaked it in, because I don't care that Fall is everyone's favorite. I'll take the dog days every (clap) single (clap) time (clap).

By six o'clock, November unhitched his whimsy and the sun blew away, funneling my day-dream down a drain somewhere on the horizon, leaving me with the unforgiving truth that it's about to get so much worse.

But hey, at least we had the weekend.

In its honor, here are a few of my recent faves.

I really dig my entry nook. It's the first thing I see when I walk in my front door. I toss my keys in the dish and the whole scene cheers me. I can't answer for the tropical bird standing awkwardly in the corner, but this sort of mixed-up nonsense seems to be the key to my decorating happiness.

Table: $4 at an auction
Paint color:  Valspar Simply Green 6002-8C, eggshell 
Painting: $15 at Allegan flea market
Lamp: $25 TJ Maxx
Cortland sign: $6 from a random flea market
Leaves: Courtesy of the walnut tree at the neighborhood park picked on this day.

I like to call this Mexican-Indian-Greek fusion at its best. I made it up and can't wait to make it up all over again. I roasted onions, peppers, and zucchini mixed with olive oil, chili powder, garlic powder and cumin at 450 until they were just right. Cooked up some white rice (was out of brown). Cooked chicken breast in a pan with olive oil, salt and pepper, then piled it all up and topped it with salsa verde mixed with a little sour cream, cilantro, and a kicky squeeze of lime.


Something about the sauce had us thinking about curry. The left-overs took on a certain Mediterranean air the following day.

Again I say: Mixed up nonsense is my love language.

Okay. This.
I read The Fault in our Stars back in October, but try as I did, I couldn't make it fit into 31 Days of Going. It pained me to not be able to dish about it. I felt like I was keeping secrets. I purposely left it off my reading list in the side-bar because it just didn't feel right to put it up there without raving first.

Please quit your life for the next 48 hours and read this book. The story pulled me under in less than 2.5 paragraphs. The writing made me shake my head in wonder and cry the hot, salty tears of a pimple-faced Freshman who wants so desperately to feel the weight of the Homecoming crown on her head but knows her head was made for no more than a marching band hat.

I finished it in bed, by the light of the moon and shook the bed as I sobbed. Don't worry, that's no spoiler. Just get the dang book. Stat.

Get the scoop on the new ABC series NASHVILLE! Blog, ways to win, and more.
In a similar  vein, there's Nashville. I'm all-in.
It's got Tami Taylor. And good music. And high drama. And a villain with overeager eyebrows.

I'm a big, fat sucker for applique. And Nici
The two come together to stunning effect in her handmade store, Geo.
Christmas looms, friends. I'm kind of excited to dole out some ideas and it just so happens that this tops the stack.

Finally, I found this tonight and pretty much want to tie it up with a grosgrain bow and carry it in my heart forever. So I guess I will.

What are you loving right now? Spill it, Sister.

*Book links are Amazon Affiliate links.


  1. I hated the first episode of Nashville... forced myself to watch a few more and now I'm hooked! Happy Sunday to you, beauty.

  2. Read "Fault" this summer. Felt it slightly predictable (which I hate predictable books), but I really did enjoy it. Rewind 20 years and I would have totally marked it up with pencil, crayon, and highlighter. Maybe even wrote quotes of it in my journal and on the backs of envelopes sent to my friend Charity.

    What am I loving? Radical by Platt. Why it's taken me this long, I'll never know. Oh, yes I will. I picked it up about two years ago, and I just wasn't ready. I think God knew I needed my #church in my life before I went there. So glad he knew.

    Also loving my weekend. It was everything I needed. Stress-free cleaning with the windows and doors open, impromptu date, casual stroll through two antique stores on a Sunday afternoon, giggles with 5 high school girls around a kitchen table, and some of my favorite football while I TRY to write a final exam.

    Not loving? This orange that tastes like a lemon.

  3. that entryway is the darn prettiest one i've ever seen. come beautify my house! you. are. so. good.

  4. Goodness, that picture of Calvin & Ruby is precious! Getting the book, can't wait to read it!


  5. I love the kids playing so much I can't even stand it.
    Also love your green paint : )

  6. Loving right now
    We started "family movie night" which actually happened all weekend long (which happened to start Thursday this week). Four of us snuggled on the couch - two in footie pajamas - perfect de-stresser during this very stressful time of The Hubs in nursing school.
    Also "Book of Mormon Girl" even though she and I are very different. I'm a sucker for a memoir.
    Breakfast for dinner on Sunday nights. Two weeks in a row. Bacon chases the Sunday night blues away.

  7. I love Nashville. How can you not watch with Tami Taylor:-) I am digging the entry!

  8. Ok...can't wait to try and make up your dinner at my house! Have just put that book on hold at the library and know I will love many books, so little time!

    Loved a book I read yesterday --- The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.

    Love being in my jammies early most nights during the winter!!!!!!!!

  9. Aside from reading your blog posts -

    * After Halloween pumpkins for $1 AND 70% off left-over costume bits. Went into Krogers for dogfood and also got a plush purple .... ({}) hat (!), a plastic pig mask, and a faux green mohawk! All for $5!
    ** "Call the Midwife" on PBS. Giving birth in the '50's - WOW! And OW!
    *** The sound of leaves blowing and scurrying outside my cozy bedroom.

  10. I'm loving how close Thanksgiving!! I haven't seen my family in months, and it'll be SUCH a nice, and much needed, break from grad school!!

  11. Oh that last picture!

    -The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
    -coffee (in my mind always said cooooffffffeeeee)
    -West Wing
    -weekends (too fleeting)
    -sunshine scrubbed skies

  12. -My "mulled cider" candle from Walmart
    -My keurig. It is definitely my most beloved appliance in my home. Three cheers for the k cups!
    - Tuesday night tv... PARENTHOOD! Love (clap) It (clap)
    -Planning ahead for Thanksgiving food
    -a vacant nightstand just waiting for "the next awesome read" to occupy its space. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Calvin bought a mulled cider candle for his Grandma and I sort of covet it.


  13. Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee!!
    Hooked on 'Nashville" love seeing my city on the screen!
    Friends getting baptized...would love your thoughts on baptism.

  14. Just got 3 paragraphs in.
    Then pinned The Fault in Our Stars on my "Buy This" board...
    ~ Dana

  15. Oh my, yes please to a plate of that! I love zucchini more than a person ought to. Your entryway sure is inspiring. And that photo of Calvin & Ruby is just the best. Is that your pom-pom skirt in the background? Icing on the cake.

    Right now I'm loving the Dillard's clearance center we shopped at yesterday. 65% off, plus another 40% off? Yes! (Although we did not get money back, as the math there suggests...)

    My first holiday season with Pinterest! I know. (Sidenote: I'm one of the people who believes in giving Thanksgiving it's due. However. I'm so beyond thrilled that all those bloody zombies have been replaced by baby Jesus and Santa and mistletoe I could just cry. Viva la holidays!!!)

    BISCUITS! (You asked.) I'm so obsessed with making the perfect biscuit it's insane. I'm even tweaking America's Test Kitchen's recipes like I can. I have got to stop this madness as they are made entirely of carbs and fat.

    Ok, I wish I had cooler news to report, but that's what I'm into at the moment. I'm going to peruse all your links, though, and see if I can up my street cred...

    1. I'll be right over. :) By far the easiest recipe is here:

      Cream biscuits. They are not too temperamental and are VERY tasty. BUT they lack the tang of buttermilk. So I think I've settled on doing the recipe on the back of the White Lily Self-Rising bag plus adding 2 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. The most life changing thing I've found is to pat out the dough into a rectangle and then just cut them into 12 squares. Yep, square biscuits! They rise to high heaven and you don't have excess-dough-weird-ones. I wish I could give credit, but I can't remember where I saw it.

      I could go on and on and on. (obviously) But I've got biscuits to make. :)

    2. Oh wait, I see her recipe makes 8. I'd stick with that b/c the thicker the dough, the thicker the biscuit. The recipe on the bag makes 12. Ok. I'll stop now. Maybe...

  16. I LOVE your entry way. LOVE IT!
    I can't stop watching Once Upon A Time. Yes, it's cheesy but after about 4 or six episodes I was hooked. I keep watching it with my husband and yelling at him, "SEE! IT's A METAPHOR! FOR LIFE!"
    and then there was the time when they said, "Emotional entitlements can have unexpected consequences." So suffice it to say that I prance around the house quoting rumplestiltskin while my husband grouses about the immoral and waffly ways of Prince Charming in Maine.
    You really didn't need to know any of this, I just haven't been able to chat for a while so I thought I'd catch you up. Also, I'm ridiculously proud of you.

    1. Do you like how I abandoned punctuation halfway through my comment? can't be bothered.

  17. i love everything about your entry way. just fab!
    and that food? don't even get me started. looks.SO.good.

  18. Can I just say that pics of your house always remind me of an endless summer? Very fresh and happy. And girlfriend - I'm addicted to Nashville. Looks like Tammy Taylor from Friday Night Lights got herself all gussied up.

    Manda Panda over at hillpen

  19. Where is Howard in your faves?????????

  20. Hello!
    You know I have to say, I've heard of your blog through other bloggers, and I think I've even clicked over to your beautiful home page, and skimmed the contents. (I know, so bad to admit). But today, I've had time to really READ your fantastic posts - can I just say in a non-weird-non-stalker-way YOU ARE SO AWESOME! So many of what your write and say is EXACTLY what I think! (I love that you wrote to Jen Hatmaker - it makes me feel less weird that I want to write that exact same type of letter to blogger Sarah Bessey :) (I found your blog by way of the fantabulous Emily Wierenga - by the way :) This whole post is delightful -I too am am Nashville fan, and your books and your entry way and the delish food all look delectable! So lovely to find a new must-read blog! Thank you so much for your words today!

  21. At this very moment I am loving Sweet Josie (Don't know? You must google).


    A girl who makes two jail runs in one week.

    Happy week, girl.

  22. I love your entry way - the bright fresh green in awesome! And these babies of yours on the swing - ribbon at the way! Keep up the good work!

  23. "November unhitched his whimsy and the sun blew away, funneling my day-dream down a drain somewhere on the horizon..." Are you kidding me?!?! Your ability to harness the power of the English language through word play simply astounds me. When I pretend we are meeting up for coffee, I give you the nickname "Wordsmith." Me thinks you would make our friend Mr. Twain proud. Very proud indeed. Teach on....

    "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

  24. I'm about half-way through Tinkers by Paul Harding, and his use of language is blowing my mind. Amazing.

  25. I am loving fleece pants in the cool evenings all snuggled up on the sofa.

    And Tammy Taylor?! You must have been a fellow Friday Night Lights watcher. We loved that series...made it an event with surround sound and company for dinner :)

  26. love your heart...praying for those two you visited in jail this week...praying like crazy for them to continue walking into the HOPE Jesus has for them.

  27. OH MY GOSH. fault in the stars. read it in 4 hours. have never cried that hard at a book. i got lost in it, forgot to cook dinner, forgot i had a child. it is so good. so good that i want to read it over but i just cannot bring myself to.

  28. Smitten by the entry. Love those laughing littles too!