Lifestyle Seasonal

My 2017 Summer Reading List

June 1, 2017
2017 Summer Reading List

I mentioned recently that I was getting inspired by everyone’s summer reading lists. So inspired, in fact, that I decided to make my own summer reading list! I’m only showing you the first 10 on my list because 1. The later books are not set in stone and 2. When I put all of them on this list it felt like a lot and I started freaking out a little. Just these 10 books feel a bit ambitious. I used to read 10 books a semester for just one class, but now I barely read any books. Possibly because I was very burned out… Anyways, I’m hoping to wake up those reading muscles and actually finish some books again! Here’s what I have planned…

 

 

1.The Woman on the Orient Express by  Lindsay Jayne Ashford

I actually already finished this book for the summer. I had gotten it when it was cheap on Kindle, thinking that it sounded interesting. The Woman on the Orient Express follows the story of Agatha Christie herself on the Orient Express as she grapples with her failed marriage, finds friendship, and gathers writing inspiration. It was a pretty entertaining read, though there were a lot of characters to track with in the beginning. It got a little confusing at times, but it was still fun. This book inspired my #2 Summer Reading List pick:

 

2.Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

Once I read The Woman on the Orient Express, I immediately wanted to read Murder on the Orient Express. I feel like every summer reading list need a good juicy mystery. My choice was also inspired by the fact that there is a movie version of this book coming out in November with a very exciting looking cast. The costumes look good too, so I know I’ll want to see it, and you know I have to read the book first!

 

3.Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

Practically every Christian female writer who inspires me has great things to say about this book. Tsh Oxenreider featured it on her Summer Reading Podcast and so I figure it’s about time that I read it. I’m going in blind on this one, because I have no clue what this book is about, except probably a woman named Hannah Coulter. I have, however, heard that the writing is beautiful, so I’m excited to finally check this off my book bucket list.

 

4.For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

I love Jen Hatmaker. She makes me want to invite my friends (if I had any) to my patio (if I had one that would fit more than two people) to eat sustainably grown food and engage in “fellowship” (if I knew how). I love her combination of humor, quick wit and raw honesty. My mother and I both read 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess in quick succession and loved it. I’m eagerly awaiting her latest book Of Mess and Moxie, but in the meantime I need to work through For the Love. 

 

5.At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider

Like Jen Hatmaker, Tsh Oxenreider also makes me want to eat good food on patios. But, like, patios in other countries. She also makes me want to sell all my belongings and live out of a suitcase. If you’re a traveler (or wish you were), Tsh is your girl. At Home in the World is her latest book, which follows her experiences as the travels through the world. I love her thoughtful, deliberate style of writing, and the wisdom that she weaves into her books, so I can’t wait to get my hands on At Home in the World. 

 

6.Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Hillbilly Elegy lately. It reminds me of the kind of book that we would read in my history seminar courses in college. Being a historian, I tend to lead towards memoirs. I feel like the stakes are higher with memoirs, and they’re less predictable than novels. I’ve been curious about Hillbilly Elegy since I first heard about it, but it never seems to go on sale (come on, Kindle deals!). I might have to bite the bullet for my summer reading list, but I’m hoping that it will be worth it.

 

7.The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

This is another Summer Reading List book that I have finished already. That’s because it only took 1 day to read! Also, I was able to find it free online through Project Gutenberg Australia. This is just a sweet, satisfying little book from the author of Anne of Green Gables. I was never able to get into Anne of Green Gables (she talked so. much.), but Valancy, the protagonist is very easy to like. During the novel, she switches from Scared of Everything to Taking No Shit, which is a transition that I can get behind. Also, the imagery in this book is simply beautiful. This would be a great vacation read.

 

8.Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path by Erin Loechner

I used to make fun of my mom for reading all her self help books. Now, I read them too. The Hubs and I have been in a rut where we feel like life is passing at an incredibly rapid pace, and we’re just barely hanging on. I’m hoping that this summer I’ll be able to slow down, unplug and find a little peace. I’ve heard great things about Chasing Slow and so I’m hoping that it can help. 

9.In Praise of Women’s Bodies by Gloria Steinem

I’ll be honest, this one was a case of “It was cheap and I was curious.” So much of my women’s studies literature in college focused on the Victorian Era, that I didn’t really read a lot of more modern feminist books. I’ve recently been doing a lot of research into the purity culture that I was brought up in and how it affect women and how they view themselves, and so I though that this would dovetail nicely with that research.

 

 

10. The More of Less by Joshua Becker

I am an avid reader of Josuha Becker’s Becoming Minimalist. When I found out that he had written a book, I knew I had to read it. Living in a tiny apartment with The Hubs (who gets a whole entire closet for his guitars) I am often confronted with the sheer number of things that we own. At the same time, I have trouble reconciling my minimalist and crafty sides.  Still, minimalist books always inspire me, so perhaps this will help me to find the right balance.

That wraps up the top ten on my summer reading list this year! I have more books, lined up, but I can’t decide if they’re going to make the summer reading list or not. There’s always a little wiggle room right? For sale books and stuff..

What are you planning to read this summer? Does anything on your list match up with mine?

 

Knitting Lifestyle Seasonal

2017 Summer Knitting List

May 25, 2017
2017 Summer Knitting List

I don’t know about you, but summer seems to have an expectant sort of feel to it. Those longer days really make a difference. They make me feel like I can get more accomplished. I’ve been inspired by everyone’s summer reading lists (and have made one of my own), but it also made me think about my summer knitting list. I’m planning to participate in two great knitalongs; one in June and the other in July. These will be my first KALs, so I’m pretty darn excited. I’ve also got a few other projects in the works (you know, because people keep making babies). I’ve got high hopes for this summer, so lets hope I can hang on to my productivity. Without further ado, here is my modestly compiled 2017 Summer Knitting List! 

2017 Summer Knitting List - Elijah

Elijah

Isn’t this the cutest pattern? Ysolda Teague is one of my favorite designers and Elijah is one of my favorite patterns of hers. I’ve knit Elijah a few times before; always as a baby gift. I think it’s perfect. Cute, sturdy, and choking hazard free. Plus, I just love elephants. The only bummer is that it requires the use of double pointed needles. Like really, you can’t use circs. I’ve tried. (I do, however, switch to circular needles whenever possible.) This time, instead of going with the regular greyish-blue that I always use, I’m using a speckled pink! I’m really excited with how it’s turning out. And yes, I do keep singing Pink Elephants of Parade from Dumbo while I’m knitting…

2017 Summer Knitting List - Tegna

Tegna

Doesn’t this sweater just make you want to go take a long walk in nature? The sweater is Tegna, by Caitlin Hunter.  It’s going to be my very first knit along! I’m thinking of a slightly cropped version (not too cropped, I don’t have any high waisted pants..) knit in Quince and Co. Finch in Honey. I’ve always loved that colorway and I have just enough yarn to make it work. It looks like such a cute and versatile top, and I haven’t worked on a sweater in ages, so I’m eager to get started. 

2017 Summer Knitting List - Gully

Gully

I posted about Gully once already, but I am super excited to knit this in July. Brooklyn Tweed is hosting a KAL in July for their new yarn, Vale. I just got mine in the mail and it is scrumptious. Even The Hubs was like, “oooh, soft!”. The yarn seems sturdy and bouncy, but light, so I’m looking forward to working with it. If you’re familiar with Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft or Shelter, Vale seems much more uniform and consistent and not quite as rustic. I think it will produce a beautiful fabric. I chose Gully for this KAL because, as much as I love knitting shawls, I rarely wear them. I’m hoping Gully can get a little bit more use.

2017 Summer Knitting List - Yoda HatBaby Yoda Knit Hat

Alright, this one falls squarely into the “all my friends are having babies” box. I should really just keep a stash of baby knits ready. The Hubs has a friend who just found out he and his wife were expecting and he fully intends to raise a nerd baby. Star Wars, Harry Potter, the works! I thought that this hat would be a cute nod to the interests of the parents, and plus, its just fun! Can you picture a little Yoda baby wearing one of these? You can bet I’ll me making one if The Hubs and I ever have kids.

2017 Summer Knitting List - Del Sol

Del Sol

I’m mentally calling Del Sol my August knit. Let’s be real, June and July are already booked by KALs. That leaves August for this sexy little tank. Del Sol can be made in either a cropped tank or a longer tunic and I cannot for the life of me decide which one I want to do! The tunic looks so chill and laid back, and I can see myself wearing it, but that tank is calling to me! I love the cropped look and could see myself layering it over dresses… I’m torn. What do you think? Which one should I pick?

Wishful Thinking Knit:

2017 Summer Knitting List - Muna Jumper

Muna Jumper

I am in love with this sweater, but I don’t know that I will be able to finish it during the summer. It looks so casual and comfy. It actually looks way cooler than me, so I’ll have to step up my game if I want to wear this one. I actually really love knitting with bulky yarn, so I can see this knit being right up my alley. The only think I don’t love is the ribbing…Not for the appearance, but for my hands. I’m willing to tough it out anyways for a sweater this cool. If this doesn’t get knit during the summer, it may have to be number one of my Fall knitting list. 

So there you have it, my 2017 Summer Knitting List! I’d love to hear what plans you have in the works for the summer. What projects are you itching to start? Anyone else doing any of the knitalongs with me? Let me know and we can be KAL buddies!

 

Uncategorized

5 Things Blowing My Mind this Week

May 18, 2017
5 Things Blowing My Mind This Week

 

Hello Everybody! I wanted to share with you some of the things that have been filling my head this week. It’s been a deep thinking week. My 25th birthday looms ahead in June and I’ve been spending a lot of time pondering what I want out of life and who I want to be. It’s still a little weird to have that husband boxed checked off on my list of life goals. Here are some things that have gotten me excited, thoughtful or motivated this week!

The Handmaid’s Tale

I’ve been wanting to slow down recently . You know, read more books and less Facebook and ya’ll.  This book. First of all, The Handmaid’s Tale is free to Amazon Prime users, so if you qualify, you don’t even have to pay for it. If you’re like me, you keep hearing references to this book and is accompanying Hulu series. Also if you are like me, you probably wondered what at the fuss was about.

I’ve been curious about The Handmaid’s tale for a while, but I never knew what it was about. When I found out that it was free on Prime, I decided to take the leap. 3 days later, I’ve raced through the book and feel like I need to reread it just to process it. It is dark. It is difficult. It is so right about the way we can slowly become accustomed to injustice.  I’m surprised I never read it in college. Even though it was written in 1986, it is still troublingly relevant. I am curious about the Hulu series, but I’m not sure if I can handle it. From the sounds of it, it seems to be pretty intense. I’m sure it’s good, but I’m also sure it would put me in a funk. Anyone else seen it? What’s your take on the series?

 

Vale - Brooklyn Tweed

Vale

If you’ve notices from my Instagram, I’ve hit a bit of a knitting dry spell. I just wasn’t feeling super inspired or motivated, but that’s about to change because Brooklyn Tweed released a new yarn this week and boy, is it pretty! It’s called Vale and it’s made from Rambouillet fleece that’s supposed to be their softest yet! I’m a huge fan of all of Brooklyn Tweed’s yarns, if you haven’t noticed, so there’s no was I wasn’t going to get my hands on some of this. It was only released yesterday, so I’m still eagerly awaiting my package. I ordered some of the arabesque colorway, which is the most beautiful muted pink. It was really difficult deciding on what color I wanted, but I had to go with arabesque because of…

Gully - Brooklyn Tweed

Gully

As soon as I saw the pattern for Gully, I fell in love. The whole thing looked sooo soft and that pink fulfilled all my minimalist millenial dreams. Plus, it’s brioche, so you know it’s going to be super squishy! I’ve been wanting to hone my brioche skills, too. Want to know the best part? Gully is free with the purchase of one or more skeins of Vale! I’m hoping to hold on to these for the knit-along that Brooklyn Tweed is hosting in July, but I’m going to have a hard time keeping myself away! If you’re doing the knit-along too I’d love to know what you picked!

Modern Market - Richardson

Modern Market

As I’ve made obnoxiously clear by now; I am doing Whole 30 (for the second time). The Hubs and I went off Whole 30 and completely derailed. It was bad for my skin. It was bad for my muscles. Enter Whole 30. Enter Modern Market.

Modern Market is a chain restaurant located throughout Dallas that specializes in fresh food. I already loved them for their blueberry pesto sandwich, but I love them even more now because… They list all their ingredients online! Why is this important? Because Whole 30 severely limits the places that we can eat out without feeling really super annoying (“Um, can you tell me if the bacon was packed in sugar?”). Modern Market is totally transparent about their recipes and we can totally eat there on Whole 30!  Both their chicken and steak are Whole 30 compliant, and the sauce that goes with them is compliant too! Do you realize how rare that is? The only side that is Whole 30 compliant is the mashed sweet potatoes, so double up on those. Or go for one of the soups, the chicken chili is compliant too!

Anyone else looking for Whole 30 places to eat? What have you found?

 

Style Uniform

Style Uniforms

Ever go through one of those phases where you just feel blah about your appearance? That’s me all the time right now. Especially when it comes to work week, a lot of the time I feel like a kid playing at being an adult. Renata Briggman has gained attention for wearing the exact same outfit to work every day, and looking great while doing it. Together, she and a stylist put together a look that made her look and feel confident, and she’s been wearing that outfit ever since. It’s not the same exact clothes every day(that could get weird). Like a cartoon character, she has multiples of the same outfit. Apparently it makes getting ready in the morning super quick and easy.

I’ve been drawn to the style uniform/capsule wardrobe for a while. I don’t know that it’s in the budget to totally overhaul my closet, but I could definitely set my favorite work outfits on a weekly schedule to cut out the “nothing-to-wear” morning slowdown. That is, provided I do my laundry regularly….hmm….

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe? Did you stick with it? Should I try it? Let me know what you think. 

That’s what’s been on my mind this week! We’ve got an exciting weekend coming up and I can hardly wait. I’ll be sure you keep you updated about my various yarn and food adventures!