What I’m Into (January and February 2016)

What’s Been Happening

This year has gone by SO fast! I can’t believe it’s already March and our baby will be here in about two months. Crazy. We’ve had lots of lazy weekends at home with our kitties when it was cold and snowy and we didn’t want to go out.

We’ve also been trying to go out to fun restaurants that might not be quite so baby-friendly, like The Cheesecake Factory as well as other local Nashville favorites.

One of the highlights of February was an epic snowstorm we had… we got about 8 inches at our house. It was a magical wonderland, but really did derail my running routine which has been hard to get back into. But when it snowed, it was beautiful and it was fun to have a few days off and be truly snowed in. Never in my life have I been “snowed in” with 8 inches of snow, but that’s Nashville for ya! We built a [tiny] snowman. 🙂

Last but not least, during the final weekend in February we headed up to Indiana to see my family. We purchased 1/8 of a cow from my brother-in-law’s parents [and the meat is SOOO good btw] so we had to pick that up, as well as some baby stuff that my sister is generously lending us. Our nephew is so big he doesn’t need it anymore! Isn’t he precious??! The cousins will have so much fun together in the future. I can’t wait!!

What I’m Reading

What I'm Into (January and February 2016) via

So far in 2016 I’ve read 17 books. For my Goodreads challenge, I decided to try to read 75 books this year. That’s wayyy less than last year but I don’t know how my reading time will be after baby comes in May. 🙂 You can read my review for Undaunted Hope here on the blog, and the rest on Goodreads. As you can see, this year I’ve gotten really into a couple of mystery series that I highly recommend: the oh-so-cheesy Her Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen and the gritty Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French. I’ve been taking a break with both series so I don’t end up reading all the books before the next ones come out [I hate when I do that!].

Some great articles I’ve read online this month include:

  • Why Americans should be upfront with our kids—and ourselves—about how power and privilege shaped our backgrounds.
  • Social media – the good and the bad.
  • What a great WWII survival story, from a non-Jewish perspective.
  • A pro-life case for paid maternity leave. Yes to this! For me, and for so many others in this country.
  • An honest thief, and a funny note he gave to the man whose wallet he found.
  • You’ve probably already seen this, but a study showed that alot of parmesan cheese actually contains wood?!? Yikes!
  • Language warning, but [yet another] article about why having it all for moms is impossible… and kinda sucks. Reading articles like this is something I try to not do very often because it freaks me out for the future, but I am grateful that my husband is present, helpful, and will continue to be that way in the future.
  • Great tips here about non-meat sources of protein… for kids and everyone else!
  • I really want to read this book about baby’s first bite and influencing their food tastes early!
  • Positive thoughts about Barbie, even before her size change. I have to say that I personally haven’t had a problem with Barbie. I know she’s unrealistic, but she’s just. a. toy. Maybe things have changed body-image-wise since I was a kid, but I don’t think a toy influenced me that much, and I was a HUGE Barbie lover.
  • On one family’s food journey…. ‘One way the book suggests we can minimize our environmental impact is through our diets, and this reminded me of the journey my family has been on food-wise since 2009. In 2009, I read an article in National Geographic magazine that started me thinking that my diet was incompatible with some of my deepest concerns for the poor and the environment. As I wrote then, “According to Bourne, 35% of the world’s grain is used to feed livestock instead of people.  Think about that.  I’ve read that it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat, and more and more, that bothers me.  It gets to me to see photographs of starving babies and know that the tasty meat I eat is contributing to the food scarcity that is killing children all over the world.”’
  • Trader Joe’s is busy and annoying. So don’t shop there. – I have to say, that since moving to Nashville where we DO have a Trader Joe’s, we probably go there less than we did when we lived in Bloomington, a city without one. The parking lot and traffic in the area are a strong deterrent for us, and many others.
  • Valentine’s Day has passed, but keep these literary cards in mind for next year!
  • On anticipation of popular show reboots…. 
    “The anticipation may be much greater than the actual product. Remember how excited everyone was for “Arrested Development” Season 4? The entire cast was back and it seemed like it would be the greatest conclusion ever for a show that was unfairly canceled by Fox many years ago. It premiered on Netflix to much fanfare in 2013.…and then the buzz died. Almost immediately. Some fans didn’t even make it through all the episodes. Count on the same thing to happen when “Fuller House” premieres in a few weeks. Generally, the anticipation is a lot more fun than the actual show, because ultimately it probably won’t be everything you hoped for.”
  • Gender problems in Disney princess movies. How sad… men talk more than women in most of these movies. Crazy!
  • More veggie tips! Why you shouldn’t peel your veggies. YES! I say this to Ben allll the time.
  • Have you ever struggled with believing in God, even if you have all your life? If so, this advice from Addie Zierman is spot on. I’ve definitely had conversations with friends about this very subject.
  • I’ll have to come back to this post on how to eat more veggies – especially when things get busy this summer with our baby boy 🙂
  • This scientific look at pregnancy’s effect on the body and making room for baby is pretty interesting… and freaky haha
  • I never knew that string cheese is actually made differently than regular mozzarella cheese! How fun!
  • Tips on bettering your commute – love some of these!
  • An interesting take on digital books/music/media versus print… and the impact on ourselves and our discovery of the new

What I’ve Been Cooking

Lots of crockpot meals on the weekend! We got a new crockpot because our old one’s lid was in very sorry shape [and couldn’t be replaced] so I’ve felt the need to use it alot, haha. I’ve brought back some old favorites like Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken and Carnitas and Minestrone Soup. Can’t go wrong there! In February, I also participated in #FreshTastyValentines so I was cooking up a storm in experimental recipes. 🙂 Otherwise, we’ve been eating lots of easy meals… tacos, spaghetti, breakfast for dinner… ya know, the usual. Also, a steady amount of iced coffee and doughnuts from Dunkin. Dangerous…very dangerous!

What’s on the Blog

My most new popular recipe in January was Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. NOM. I wish I had one now!

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

Most popular recipes from the archive for January included: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Buffalo Pretzels, and Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken.

My most new popular recipe in February was Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake.

Brighten up your Valentine's Day celebration with this refreshing Grapefruit-Walnut Sheet Cake! You won't want to miss the grapefruit cream cheese frosting! :) #FreshTastyValentines

Most popular recipes from the archive for February included: Cinnamon Sugar Apple Cake, Buffalo Pretzels, and Funfetti Cookies. Old favorites, as usual!

What were you into in January and February?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately. 


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