Yesterday Annalyn came home from preschool, excited that today is the last day of the month. I’m not sure what makes that so exciting, but for a good five minutes, she danced around the kitchen, saying, “New month! New month!”

I promise our January hasn’t been that bad.

Actually, it’s been a great month. After all, as I said to a friend over the weekend, it’s January so we’re doing everything right. We stuck to our budget (mostly), had a date night even though our babysitter didn’t work out as hoped, and I’ve dusted off my treadmill. I’m also helping our pastor’s wife lead a small group that has just gotten started, and over the last weekend of the month, we visited our good friends who had the nerve to move three hours away last year.

Several weeks ago, I came across a fun post from Megan at Sorta Crunchy. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure how I found her. I am pretty much her opposite – Not Crunchy at All and Proud of Myself for [Usually] Remembering to Use Canvas Grocery Bags. But I love some stuff she’s written for A Deeper Story, she loves talking about Once Upon a Time, and she has a really fun monthly post called “What Are You Into?

And for me, that’s enough. We are now [in my mind] total blog friends. The kind of friends who copy each other’s monthly “into” posts. I’m kidding, of course. Not about being friends, but about copying. I’m pretty sure this idea was meant to be shared. Either way, I’m doing it. I’m talking about what I’m into today.

What I’m Reading: As I’ve mentioned a time or twenty, I’ve been reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Yes, it’s a kids series. Yes, it’s about a make-believe world full of mythical gods and monsters. And yes, it is fantastic. The stories are save-the-world epic, and the action and adventures are non-stop. But even more important to me, the characters (and their dialogue) are realistic, and every book is really funny. That’s why I’m not too embarrassed to tell you that I’ve now moved on to the Heroes of Olympus series (same world, adventure and humor, some new characters), and I’m anxiously waiting for book two from the library.

Another book I’ve read recently that I simply loved is Heiress by Susan May Warren. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, and I can’t remember reading any book set in the United States’ Gilded Age. It took me a while to pick this one up, but once I did, I was hooked. The novel tells the stories of two sisters whose father is a rich newspaper owner. Their stories are tragic but not hopeless, and the historical part of the book was fascinating. I was satisfied with the endings both daughters got, but also happy that the author didn’t choose a simple, fairytale formula.

I’m also reading Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman and  A Confident Heart by Renee Swope in small groups.

What I’m Watching: I’m watching less TV these days than I have in the past, but when I type all my shows out, it still looks like a lot! I can’t call anything “appointment TV,” since I watch most everything after taping it [yes, on my VCR] or online. But the shows I’m not missing are Once Upon a Time, How I Met Your Mother, Hart of Dixie, Castle, NCIS, White Collar, New Girl, Parks & Recreation and Up All Night.

I know. It’s a lot. And you find this surprising because . . . ?

A show that I won’t be watching every week anymore? Chuck. It’s sad but true: The series finale of Chuck aired last week. My all-time favorite show of ever is over. I’m okay with it being over. But still sad, too. I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching the two-hour series ender again this week . . . and saving up for the DVDs starting now.

Okay. Confession time. I’ve also been watching Jane by Design, a new teeny bopper show on ABC Family. It is silly and fluffy and cliched, but for some reason, I have watched every episode since it started a few weeks ago. I’m also watching season three of Greek, but only when I’m on the treadmill. I started the series over the holidays when everything was in reruns, and I really love it. It is super soapy and about the Greek system I avoided throughout my years in college, but it’s kind of my new favorite. And using it as a bribe for exercising is working really well so far. I actually want to find time to get on the treadmill now!

On the movie front, we rented Moneyball a couple weeks ago and saw Haywire on date night. Moneyball was a bit slow to me, but interesting. Mark, of course, loved it. And Haywire was a simple spy movie but I loved that the main character was a normal-sized (though abnormally strong) woman who kicked a lot of bad guy butt. I didn’t love watching her take hits, though. Call me a hypocrite, but that bugged me.

What I’m Eating/Cooking: The big excitement in my kitchen this month has involved menu planning and counting Weight Watchers points. But since that might not float your boat like it does mine, let me tell you about the brownie fudge cupcakes I made over the weekend. They were ridiculous. As in, crazy rich and sweet but not too sweet and delicious. As in, I left every single one (after we each ate one) at my friend’s house for fear I would stuff myself silly. Yes, I will be sharing the recipe soon.

I’m also working on a recipe for mini baked chicken taquitos. Stay tuned.

(And I suppose I could also tell you about the barbecue chicken salad I had on Sunday night. Mark pretended to be offended when I said I loved it so much I wanted to marry it. At least, I think he as pretending . . .)

What I’m Listening to: I’m really enjoying my Mumford & Sons Pandora station, especially since I’ve bulked it up with the Avett Brothers, Eddie Vedder and The Head and the Heart.

What have you been into this month?

What should you watch next?


Every month, we are bombarded with new TV series and movies—and it can be overwhelming to figure out what to watch! (I know, I know, what a problem to have!) I'm here to help. My monthly Watch Guides list out all the returning series, new series, and new movies, along with premiere dates and where to watch them. Plus, I tell you my personal picks for the month to help you narrow it all down.

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