I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer again this month to share what I’ve been into in the month of August. This month was filled with summer fun and back to school momentum, all rolled up into one ball of busy. Let’s look back at the action, shall we?
What I’m Reading
I read four books this month – one young adult book, one more literary novel and two books in a delicious and nostalgic chick lit romance series.
- REALLY LIKED Looking for Alaska by John Green – Finished August 1, 2015 – This book was a roller coaster of emotion, which I guess I should have seen coming after TFIOS. I liked this but I didn’t quite love it – While I love how John Green creates his characters and navigates his stories, parts of this one were just hard to sink into.
- REALLY LIKED The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown – Finished August 15, 2015 – I really enjoyed this. The POV was interesting and well done. I found the characters easy to root for, their family dynamic was both fascinating and believable. You’ll find yourself relating to all three of the sisters. I appreciated the moments that didn’t happen just as much as the moments that did.
- REALLY LIKED Remember When by T. Torrest – Finished August 25, 2015 – I had mixed feelings towards this book. I could relate to the main character, Layla, in a lot of ways but felt alienated by her sometimes also. She is a very complex character who often seems to have characteristics that are at odds with each other, which I suppose makes her pretty realistic, but as a reader it was sometimes hard to tell where she was coming from. The love story is adorable and the concept for the book is pretty unique – I found myself quickly hooked on the plot and downloaded the 2nd book almost immediately after finishing the first – so there you go! Note: This is a fairly graphic story – the characters in the book are pretty realistic, flawed teenagers who make some less than stellar choices. Which is pretty typical for real life but I probably wouldn’t recommend this book to a young teen. I think it is actually probably more likely to be enjoyed by older readers anyway – half the fun of this book is the 80’s references anyway!
- LIKED Remember When 2 by T. Torrest – Finished August 29, 2015 – This sequel picks up 10 years after the first books leaves off, so it’s now the year 2000 which should feel a lot more current and yet, if you think about it, it’s still 15 years ago! We were barely online back then! Layla has grown up a lot, but in my opinion she still has a lot of growing to do – she and Trip continue to make a lot of the same mistakes with each other and occasionally they were almost too frustrating, but I continue to root for them and you better believe I bought book three pretty much immediately after finishing this one.
Right now I’m kind of reading everything! I’m still knee deep in The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer, kind of still working on The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo but losing steam on it, if I’m going to be honest. I downloaded book 3 in the Remember When series but it was having trouble loading in my kindle app last night so I broke into Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen.
What I’m Watching
We finally caught up with the rest of the world and watched The Imitation Game this weekend, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly. Yeah, it was everything – heart breaking and funny and brilliantly written – it gave me all the feels.
We also finished season one of Game of Thrones this month, slowly attempting to catch up with all of the cool kids. I was sort of shocked by the first episode, not at all convinced that this was my cup of tea, but I hung in there and now I’m impatiently waiting for our friends to get back from a vacation so that we can get started on season two (the downside to watching with friends, but worth it to have more people to squeal and cheer with). So basically, I’m that girl who suddenly says “Winter is coming” and “It is known” now like all the time and everyone else is like, “Welcome to the party, Jen. What took you so long?”
Somehow we fell behind big time on Castle and Bones last year so we are working our way back through before they start up again next month. We are 100% caught up on Castle and about 60% through the last season of Bones.
Is anyone else watching Top Model or Project Runway this season? I’m not sure who I’m rooting for yet on Top Model (but I can name several models I’m totally 100% done with) but I’m seriously loving Ashely and Candice on Runway.
We also rented Rock of Ages and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone which were both better than I was expecting. Rock of Ages had a great soundtrack and a funny, heartfelt story that was both occasionally predictable and often surprising. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone was fantastic – this one will appeal to the geek and misfit in all of us who have ever felt like we didn’t quite fit in.
I had a nostalgia overload watching the Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of documentary – and I was surprised by how much I learned watching it! If you knew me in the 90’s, then you are aware that I was kind of a BSB super fan. I could order for these boys at McDonalds at gunpoint, knew all the songs and ton of useless trivia. This documentary gives you the grittier story that media didn’t really want us to know. It was fascinating.
What I’m Cooking
I made this slow cooker spiced porridge last night – sort of. I had to improvise a lot because I’m not good at following directions, like “buy all of these ingredients” – so in place of all those awesome fruits, I just used the dried cherries in my cabinet. And I may have forgotten to add the brown sugar all together but between the juicy dried cherries and a sprinkling of sugar the next morning over my bowl, it still came out super delicious.
This overnight refrigerator oatmeal also came out good – I ended up warming mine up in the microwave because apparently cold oatmeal does nothing for me – but it warmed up nicely after about 1 minute and tasted wonderful. My husband ate and enjoyed it still cold so clearly it works both ways.
We had dinner with some new friends and old last night and I brought my mother in law’s famous rum cake which always impresses and comes together so quickly it must be dark magic. I’d give you the recipe, but then I’d have to kill you.
I’m also continuing to love this Dude Mom recipe for sausage, potatoes and broccoli. And my husband continues to love when I make end of summer pasta with zucchini, summer squash and cherry tomatoes.
What We’re Up To (IRL)
The kids took a second session of swim classes after we got back from our summer vacation and continued to make leaps and bounds style improvement in their swim skills and water comfort level. MM went from being a pretty timid swimmer to water slide obsessed!
Dan and I celebrated our 9th anniversary of being married geeks. We got dinner at the Melting Pot (one of our favorite places) and saw Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (cause that’s how we do).
The kids started school this month and I’ve been reorganizing and purging in bits and stages this month in preparation for needing to be on my A Game this fall. I took down the little shelf Dan built a few years ago to put lunch boxes, etc. on – and stained it a nice cherry woodish color, then I hung some hooks all around it for jackets and hats, sweaters, etc.
MM promoted to Level 3 purple belt which places him approximately halfway to earning his black belt – it’s crazy to think how far he’s come since we started talking karate classes two years ago.
I updated my computer to Windows 10 and it sounds like I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have massive craziness surrounding the upgrade (like my husband whose laptop decided that it didn’t like his password anymore and made him start from scratch – what??
We played a lot of games this month. The kids and I are all hooked on Apples to Apples still and we got a couple expansion packs for Munchkin that added all new levels of craziness to an already insane game.
And lastly: Links I’m Loving
This buzzfeed video: the 5 types of parents – which one are you?
Things that will happen if I don’t take out my phone right now at The New Yorker
When Mike Melgaard won the Internet by angering people who were super angry at Target’s decision to remove gender specific labeling in some of their departments.
What I wish I knew when I started wearing glasses at Hello Giggles was perfection.
Instagram removed it’s square requirements and my life became complete.
This Vintage Moment wrote about how she is not an octopus and it was amazing.
Hello Natural shared 3 pretty & easy hairstyles and I immediately wanted to try all three.