I put up my Christmas tree last night. Then I let Annalyn decorate it. As I’m sitting here right now, looking at it, I can’t help but smile. The ornaments are clustered around the middle section, coincidentally the only section of my prelit tree that has working lights. The top is bare, save a strand of lights I wrapped around it. And the bottom has only a few sparkly red balls dangling from the bottom branches – the better for the cats to reach them, of course.

It’s far from perfect, and to be honest I’ll be rearranging the whole thing (and trying desperately to maneuver the sparse branches to look a little less Charlie Brown-ish). But still, the lopsided, kid-decked tree sure makes me smile.

Before I jump into the holidays (and the stack of decoration boxes sitting in my dining room), though, I realized I never wrote a “What I’m Into” post for October. And now another month has gone by, so this one post will have to cover both months!

What have YOU been into this fall?

What I’m Reading:
It’s possible I’ve gotten a little too hooked on the Percy Jackson books. I may or may not have re-read the first books of Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series this fall in anticipation of the third one being released. May have. What with all the Greek and Roman gods and the characters from two different demi-god camps, it IS a lot to keep track of. But honestly, I just really like the books.

The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan, the third book in Heroes of Olympus, is the best one so far, too. And, I noticed when I looked it up for a link, it’s on sale for $10.10 right now (regularly $19.99). I may or may not be debating getting a copy of my own . . .

I also read Entwined by Heather Dixon, a new take on one of Grimm’s lesser known fairytales, The Worn-Out Dancing Shoes. I’d never heard of this story before, so it was all new to me – and I loved it! If you like young adult fantasy, try this one out. The magical story of a family of sisters who love to dance has suspense, romance and an enchanted castle is a great read. (And bonus for my friends who, like me, get a little frustrated that every. single. YA book seems to be part of a trilogy? This one is a standalone novel.)

Oh, and this one happens to be on sale, too – $7.20 (regularly $17.99). If you need a new book. Or gift. Or both.

Finally, I picked up a novel I got at Allume. I’d never heard of Dani Pettrey, but the endorsement on the front was from Dee Henderson – one of my very favorite Christian authors ever. Submerged by Dani Pettrey IS the beginning of a series, but I’m okay with that. The characters reminded me of the O’Malleys from Henderson’s books – real, flawed and funny. (And hey, look! I loved a book written for – and about – adults! A real grown-up book! Heh.)

And stay tuned, because as soon as I work my way up the reserve list at the library, I will be reading Dee Henderson’s first new book in years. After I saw her endorsement on Submerged, I wondered (again, for the millionth time) if she’d written anything new. I was super excited to see that she finally has and can’t wait to read Full Disclosure.

What I’m Watching:
Well, what did you expect? It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . for TV movies! I know, I know. Some – fine, most – of them are awful, sappy cheese fests. But I LOVE THEM. Not all of them, buuuuut a lot of them. I just finished watching the one about the food critic and chef, and the one about the mom/daughter wedding planners is on now. My favorite has been Love at the Christmas Table with Winnie from The Wonder Years, but I’ve been known to watch the one about the FBI agent, the one about the editor, the one about the ad executive and anything with Joey Lawrence.

I just love Christmas movies.

We also went to see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, the weekend it came out. We even stood in line for it and everything! The opening weekend thing wasn’t intentional, but it was kind of fun – largely because Mark insisted we buy our tickets early instead of wandering around a few shops like I wanted. Had we gone with my plan, I would’ve been bummed to stand at the end of the line (or, like when we tried to see Hunger Games, not even get tickets at all if it was sold out). If you like Bond movies – or spy or action movies at all, really – go see this one. It’s fantastic!

What I’m Eating: I made cinnamon rolls again for Mark’s family at Thanksgiving, and now I’m wondering why I waited a full year after trying them out the first time. Oh yeah, because they are so good I want to eat five at once. And then wash them down with extra icing. *sigh*

A few weeks ago, I also made some chocolate chip oatmeal pumpkin cookies. Did you read that? Chocolate chips. Oatmeal. And pumpkin! They were delicious. And YES, I will share the recipe. Soon. I promise. (Okay, as soon as I make them again and take some better photos . . .)

Now it’s your turn. What are you into?

This post was inspired by Sorta Crunchy’s monthly post. And it contains affiliate links.

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