What I'm Into - November 2015

Happy Monday, everyone! Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Mine was a little different than usual, but still good.

Most years, we eat three Thanksgiving dinners – two turkey and one lasagna. We do Thursday lunch at my grandma’s house, then have Mark’s family over for Italian Thursday night. We’re a small group so buying (and cooking) a whole turkey or ham doesn’t seem necessary. And I do make a mean lasagna if I do say so myself. Then comes Friday, the board game and turkey dinner at my parents’ house with my extended family on my mom’s side.

This year, though, Mark’s family couldn’t make it for dinner. So instead of frantically cooking and cleaning, I simply made a cake (Mark’s favorite apple cake) and we headed over to our friends’ house. We ate dessert and lounged in their living room and let the kids play and consume more sugar than they should. I’m not sure who’s going to break it to Mark’s family, but we’ve decided that Dessert with Friends needs to become a new tradition!

I actually noticed a lot of talk about “Friendsgiving” gatherings this year. It made me think of the Thanksgiving dinners we’d have in college before heading home to our families. And made me want to throw a Friendsgiving dinner soon.

Backyard leaves - phone-001

The rest of our weekend included a great dinner with my family – although just my parents and brother, not my aunt, uncle or cousins, thanks to a badly timed ice storm; family photos in which I attempted to bribe my children with yogurt-covered raisins and M&Ms for smiles; and finally trading in my pathetic, broken-down, pain-in-the-butt phone for a new, shiny phone.

All in all, a great, long weekend! How was your holiday weekend? Have you ever hosted or attended a Friendsgiving Dinner? And now that I can download apps again (Right. My old phone wouldn’t let me. Good riddance to that thing!), are there any apps you would recommend, ones you can’t live without?

And now, a few things I’ve been into this past month…


What I’m Reading

My stack of books to read is growing taller every day, while my list of books I’ve read is shorter this month than ever. The good news is that Mark got our bookshelf out of storage (we put it there when we decluttered and staged the house to try to sell it last year), so at least all those books I haven’t read yet have a home.

Top of my to-read pile are a few library books already racking up fines. All three of them come highly recommended, and I want to read them. I REALLY DO! I’m going to read them soon. Maybe this week, even. Really!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler: I’ve actually read about three-quarters of this memoir. It’s hilarious and surprising and fascinating, and I can’t wait to read the last few chapters. Hopefully before I’ve kept the book so long the library thinks I’ve lost it. Again.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: This book has a weird cover. And kind of a weird description. It’s a YA dystopian novel full of pop culture and geeky references. Or so I’m told. By the bajillion recommendations I’ve read. So I’m going to read it. Soon. Ish.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: I think I’m probably the last reader on earth to read this one. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard or read, “If you read one book this year, make it this one,” about a dozen times. So the clock is ticking, I guess. Thirty-one days to make this book one I read this year…

As for the books I have read, it’s a short list.

What I'm Into - November 2015

Hurricane Force by Jana DeLeon: This is the most recent Miss Fortune Mystery, and it was a good one. Big things happened in this book, and I’m anxious for the next one in the series! (If you like cozy mysteries reminiscent of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books, by the way, check out my list here.)

Irin Chronicles by Elizabeth Hunter: I read the first and second books in this trilogy about fallen angels – both the good kind and the bad kind. (It’s actually similar to the books I’ve read by Monica McGurk. I guess I’ve been on a roll with the angel books this fall!) Anyway, I really like this series so far and am looking forward to reading the final book that just happens to be waiting for me on my Kindle.

Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: I read Cinder quite a while ago, just after Adrienne was born. I had all the time in the world to read back then, what with the feedings every few hours and a Kindle app on my phone. So of course I quickly followed up this futuristic fairly tale that turned a cyborg into Cinderella by reading the next two books in the series. I’ve been waiting for the final installment in the story and it’s finally out. But it’s been long enough that I thought I’d better re-read the first three books. Because of all my free time? Nah. Because I like stories about cyborg Cinderellas. [Seriously, if you like YA books or fairy tale books, this series is a really good one.]

I’m also reading Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington and The Fairy-Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley. The first one I’m reading because I definitely need to break up with busy, and the second one I’m reading at bedtime with Annalyn.


What I’m Watching

Over Thanksgiving, my brother and I were scoffing at the idea of going to see the new Star Wars movie on opening weekend. Because SERIOUSLY. [To be clear, the scoffing was not because we don’t like Star Wars. It was because we don’t like large crowds of people. See also: Neither of us had a desire to attend the amazingly huge World Series parade after the Royals won this fall.]

But as we scoffed I had to stop – and laugh at myself. Because just a couple weeks ago, we went to see the new James Bond movie with Smitty and her boyfriend. On opening weekend. Where we had to stand in line. IN LINE! At a later showing because the one we’d picked was sold out. SOLD OUT!

I mean, in my defense it was significantly different than I imagine the opening night of Star Wars will be. Nobody was dressed in James Bond costumes, for example…


Spectre (the latest James Bond movie) was good. I read several bad reviews, but I liked it. It was long and it was typical James Bond in every sense of that phrase, but I liked it. I think I’d even say it was worth waiting in line for.

blue bloods

I’ve also been watching a whole lot of Blue Bloods on Netflix. We finished Friday Night Lights earlier this year, and since then, Mark and I have struggled to find a new show to watch together. After a few misfires, we landed on Blue Bloods – and we can’t get enough! “One more episode?” is the reason I’m starting this Monday tired!

The resting of my viewing time has been spent largely on Hallmark Christmas movies. New ones, old ones, mostly good ones, a few lousy ones. My favorites so far this year are Christmas Incorporated and Window Wonderland. In case you want to set your DVR for their next showings.

What I'm Into :: November 2015 #choosejoybook

As for what else I’ve been into over the past four weeks, it’s pretty much been all book, all the time. Here are a couple Choose Joy things you don’t want to miss:

Some Fun Gifts to Go with Your Choose Joy Book!
Choosing Joy When the Holidays Are Hard (a FREE Ebook)

So, that’s it for me. Your turn! What have YOU been into?

I’ll be linking up my What I’m Into post with Leigh Kramer. And as soon as I’m done here, I’m going to read what other bloggers have been into! {No joke. It’s my favorite place to get recommendations!}

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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