I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately. I love this linkup because it encompasses all my interests and serves as an excellent mind dump – and I get to click over and see what a bunch of other cool bloggers are into, potentially finding new books, movies, tv shows, songs, recipes and more to check out. Here’s what’s been going on in my world:
What I’m watching
We finally got around to watching Sons of Liberty which we recorded on the DVR like seriously months ago but it was so worth the wait and even better than I thought it would be. One thing I took away from the miniseries (aside from, dang, Sam Adams was hot) is how little I actually knew about the period in time. I grew up in New England, I’ve taken the walking tours around Boston, I know all the little Revolutionary War catch phrases and thought that all equaled being well versed in that time period but actually watching it play out – I found myself going “oooohhhhhh” a lot – or “what? when did that happen?” or “How the heck did we ever win this war?” Point is: I highly recommend.
We rented The Wedding Ringer, Captain America: Winter Soldier, The Giver and Penguins of Madagascar last weekend in anticipation of the long weekend for dh and the beginning of summer vacation for the rest of us.
- The Wedding Ringer had its moments but was a little over the top on the raunchy humor for my liking (and by a little, I mean…).
- Captain America 2 was a solid improvement over the first movie. Cap has a little more personality now and the story line was perhaps more interesting because we’ve been watching both Agents of Shield and Agent Carter so there was a lot of story line that I was already privy to and such.
- The Giver was interesting but felt really slow to me – maybe it’s because it was already so late by the time we put the movie in or maybe it’s because I realized halfway through that I don’t think I ever finished reading the book. But the pace just felt off to me and I often wished they would hurry up and do something already.
- Overall Penguins of Madagascar was really good. I still prefer the original Madagascar movie but there’s nothing really to complain about with this one and it had some pretty hilarious moments. A solid family film.
What I’m reading
I read two very different books this month:
- ***** Yes Please by Amy Poehler – Finished May 3, 2015 – This book was all the things. Funny and insightful and also funny. Aside from being an awesome writer, comedian and actress, Amy Poeheler is also an amazing person with a lot of great stories to tell. Whether you know and love her from SNL, Parks and Recreation, hosting award shows with Tina Fey or anything in between – you are sure to love all the stories she has to tell. And honestly, I think it’s a good book even if you have somehow never managed to see anything she’s done (who are you??) – she has lots of funny insights and stories just from your typical growing up and experiencing LIFE kind of situatiions – so yeah, something for everybody.
- **** The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins – Finished May 13, 2015 – I had a love hate relationship with this book. It was fascinating and kept me compulsively reading it but the content is preeeettttty heavy and I mostly read in bed at night before going to sleep – I often thought, “Why am I reading this? I’m going to have horrible nightmares after this.” But like any good mystery, I had to know “whodunnit” – and I’ll admit, the ending surprised me. I think I must have suspected everybody in the book at some point, so I’d say that’s a sign that the author did a good job!
Right now I’m reading a few different books, mostly because I’m having a hard time settling into any of them – not really for any fault of the book. I’m about halfway through May B. by Caroline Starr Rose which I’m contemplating reading out loud to the kids. I also just started reading the next book club pick, Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer. On my kindle I’ve been slowly reading The Magicians by Lev Grossman which I can’t decide if I’m enjoying or not – truthfully, this may be the lynch pin explanation for why I’m reading three books. I think I want to like it more than I actually am. But with the series coming out on SyFy, I feel some weird sense of obligation to read the book so I can watch the show guilt free.
In my kitchen
I appear to be on a monthly box subscription kick. I took advantage of a couple of trial offers and ordered a subscription to both Naturebox and Try The World. I can’t convince myself to subscribe to things like Book Riot or Julep or Loot Crate because I don’t actually need any of the things in those boxes and certainly don’t need them every month (that said, any of those would be awesome gifts if you are feeling generous). But we do need healthy snacks and we will absolutely eat, use and be grateful for a few fun cultural treats each month. And since both companies allow you to cancel at any time, I decided to try a little splurge and see if we liked them.
What I like about Nature Box: It’s only $19.99 a month for 5 full sized bags of snacks – and you can create your own list of which snacks you want in each box so you don’t have to get a snack you didn’t like last time AND you can make sure you get ones you did. From a realistic perspective – in the world of healthy snacks – this is a reasonable deal and I think paying a few extra dollars to have access to some snacks I might not have picked up in the store is worth it. These will be nice to have to make sure we always have some healthy snack options.
What I like about Try the World: I have serious wanderlust and often wish I could get up and fly to Argentina or Madrid or Glasgow. Unfortunately, this is not a feasible life choice. I get my fix through movies, pretty instagram accounts and food. My favorite part of a trip to world market is picking up fun foods that you won’t find in most American grocery stores. So this totally fits the bill of being a splurge that won’t break the bank. And these boxes only come every two months so I can feel a little better about the slightly high price tag ($39 a box if you subscribe month to month). Though truthfully, the quality of what we’re getting seems worth the cost.
I’m not sure how long we’ll stick with either subscription, but I’m having fun trying them out.
Working Out & Playing Hard
Since I’m only working weekends this summer, I’m trying to recommit myself to going to the gym and exercising more frequently. I have called upon my favorite walking buddy and we’re putting in some serious steps. Cross your fingers that I stick with it because I have no good reason not to! My favorite way to track my steps these days is with the S Health app on my Galaxy smartphone. It’s free and already in my pocket. I know there are plenty of free apps out there to help you count steps and calories and more.
I also got in a good amount of steps at the bowling alley this afternoon. My kids are signed up for Kids Bowl Free at our local bowling alley – we just paid $4 for their shoe rentals and got to bowl two games. Since my 5 year old still needs a lot of help bowling, I got in a lot of steps helping – and the kids got some exercise, too. We’re also planning to go to places like the zoo and the local botanical garden where walking a ton is sort of implied.
On the blog(s)
- My daughter’s acting debut had everyone talking. We still got stopped in the halls weeks later with remarks like, “You were so amazing in the class play!” and “Are you signing her up for acting lessons?” I’m trying not to go full on Stage Mom about this.
- My son learned to write poetry in school and I got super gushy about it. We’ve been sharing our poetry with each other ever since and I think we both love sharing in a hobby together.
- I was licked by a giraffe and lived to tell the tale.
- My husband set me loose in a book store for mother’s day and told me to go nuts. So I did.
- The kids graduated from kindergarten and third grade this month, meaning we are officially on summer vacation here. I’m mostly getting used to it.
- We made a summer reading list and I’ve been reading out loud to the kids for about an hour a day. When BB isn’t reading to me.
Best of the web
- Joanna wrote about trying out slow parenting. Her thoughts really resonated with me. “As an adult, I just move at a faster pace than they do, and I’m also not great, generally, at relaxing, even on my own time. So, when Anton stops to examine a bicycle pedal or spots an ant on the ground or Toby walks slowly and dreamily down the block, I instinctively tell them to c’mon and come along.”
- We filled out this Last Day of School printable at The (Reformed) Idealist Mom and the kids really loved it. I like how the mix of quick answer “fave” questions and the questions that you mull over seemed to dig out some real, thought out answers instead of just the first things that pop into their mind.
- Roo’s recent post about how dad’s don’t babysit is a long time rant of mine. Why do we assume that our husbands are invalids or incapable of running the ship without us? They might have different priorities and time tables but they are every bit as capable and should be considered a valuable member of Team Home Life. I’m grateful to have a husband that cooks and cleans and cares for our kids and does a good job, but baffled that this seems to be considered “rare”.
- I loved this list at Bustle of 12 childhood book characters that empower young women. There are some of my childhood favorites on this list and a few new to me books that I added to my TBR list to check out. This list may or may not have partially inspired my list of books to read out loud to the kids this summer.
- Have you seen Stop Here. This is the Place. yet? It’s a combination of photos and stories from two mom friends, Winky Lewis and Susan Conley that captures one year of their lives as mothers – and it’s absolutely gorgeous.