What I’m Into October 2015


Another month, another What I’m Into post. Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer.


I didn’t get as much reading done as I’d hoped this month, but I did get started on Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows (so excited she decided to revisit the Grisha universe) and loved Cara Nicoletti’s Voracious. Recipes and meditations on great books? Take my money, please!


Jane the Virgin is back! I am so excited it’s not even funny. I’m also still following Once Upon a Time, Modern Family, Downton Abbey, Big Bang Theory, and The Mindy Project (and, thus far, less annoyed with the Mindy as a mom arc than I thought I’d be). I also watched Melissa McCarthy’s Spy on the plane and, while it was a bit much at times (I miss Sookie, the best character MC ever played), I just about died of laughter when British spy douche takes off in a huff on a sea-doo, not realizing he’s on a lake, not the ocean.


All Hamilton, all the time. It’s bad, guys. I have about 90% of the soundtrack down word perfect. Yesterday, I hit a new low and didn’t even turn the soundtrack on. I just sang it to myself. My husband, bless him, has been very longsuffering through this. All this to say, you should listen to the Hamilton soundtrack because it is amazing, but also be warned that it will take over your life.


I spent nearly a week in Vancouver’s West Side, so I got to check out some of its culinary offerings while I was there, My favourites were the Breka Bakery on Davie/Hornby (the most amazing panini selection, plus a to die for slice of cake with pistachio cream and chocolate ganache), the Banana Leaf on Davie (a Malaysian eatery, which was a whole new type of cuisine for me), Pizzeria Ludica (a board game cafe and Neapolitan Pizzeria, which is basically all my favourite things in one place), and the Patron Cantina, a fabulous Mexican place on Robson. In my own kitchen, my favourite thing I made all month was this gorgeous Pear, Chocolate, and Cardamom cake (which does take considerably longer to bake than the recipe calls for, but is amazing). I also tried this Spiced Apple Cider Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving, and I think it may be my new go-to. As usual, you can find all my favourite recipes of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.


I got to try Colt Express (the 2015 Spiel des Jahres) for the first time this month and really enjoyed it–I love that it’s genuinely a different mechanism than every other board game we own. I also got to try the card game Guillotine (which I enjoyed, but will need to play a few more times to really get a feel for it). Aaron and I also got really into Fluxx: The Card Game (which I can report is also a big hit with the Mosses over in Vancouver). The basic gist of Fluxx is that players can constantly play cards that change the rules or the win condition for the game, which makes things really unpredictable but really fun. It’ll definitely be one of the games we bring home at Christmas.


As I mentioned, I was in Vancouver this month (my first time on the West Coast), which was super exciting. I went for my field’s major annual conference, and it was a great experience. I got to see some really great panels and managed not to shame myself or my supervisor when giving my own paper, so I’d say it was a success. I also got to see some friends who had moved to Vancouver and spend time with family who live in the area. We also hosted a last-minute Thanksgiving dinner earlier in the month, which was good fun and surprisingly not too difficult to pull off even though I only decided to do it like 3 days ahead of time. We’re hosting friends again tomorrow, this time for a Halloween board game party, so I’m scrambling to finish cleaning the house and decide what lazy costume hack I want to settle for.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog to check out some of the other submissions!

What I’m Into September 2015

What I’m Into September 2015

After a week of ridiculously high temperatures at the beginning of September, it looks like fall is finally here to stay. Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.


Not much this month. I read the second book of Erika Johansen’s Tearling series, and it explained some of the world-building that was lacking in book 1. I also read The Word Exchange by Alana Graedon and started on the new Sarah Maas book (which is book 4 of 6 books, when she had originally planned on a trilogy. I have mixed feelings about this. Turns out I really like swift closure.)


I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit that the season premiere of The Mindy Project brought me to tears. I’m still apprehensive about the whole Mindy as a mother arc, though. We’re also continuing to watch through Psych. My favourite thing I watched this month, though, was live. We live about half an hour from the Stratford theatre festival, so we’ve been taking advantage of their student matinee pricing to see some shows. At the beginning of the month we watched their production of the Sound of Music, which was absolutely lovely. The nuns’ numbers in particular are gorgeous. We also watched Taming of the Shrew and, while the acting was masterful, the whole Kate/Petruchio arc makes me super undcomfortable. We’re going to Stratford one last time tomorrow to catch a staging of The Alchemist.


The Hamilton soundtrack all day every day. It’s just so brilliant! I’m not even particularly invested in the American Revolution (cause, you know, Canadian/German here), but I can appreciate Lin-Manuel Miranda’s handling of the historical material, from the hilarious rap battles in cabinet between Jefferson and Hamilton (we signed a treaty with a king whose head is now in a basket/would you like to take it out and ask it/should we honour our treaty King Louis’ head?/”uhh, do whatever you want, I’m super dead”)

to stirring battle montages that make me temporarily forget my pacifist leanings

to numbers that are just beautiful and make me tear up.

It’s embarrassing how much of the soundtrack I’ve already memorized, and it’s probably better for my students that I don’t teach the American Revolution, because otherwise my lectures would be 25% me butchering these raps.


Sadly, September marked the end of peach season. However, I’ve still been in the kitchen trying out lots of different recipes. My favourites were these blackberry cheesecake brownies and these feta-stuffed garden salad burgers. As usual, you can find my favourite recipes of the month on this Pinterest board.


I’ve started co-teaching a class this fall, and I’m really enjoying it so far. The students are engaged and creative and really good sports about the 3-hour once a week block.

We also had a good friend from New Brunswick visit us on his way out West. It was lovely to catch up with him, and we may have broken a personal record for most games played in one evening.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over the Leigh’s blog and check out some of the other submissions.

What I’m Into August 2015


How is it September tomorrow? Seriously, how? I can’t believe summer is over already (although I could go for the cooler temperatures of fall right about now). As always, I’m finishing up the month by linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.


We road tripped this month, so I got a chance to read a bunch of YA I’d been meaning to get to. My favourite book of the month was probably Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, a fantasy novel in a pseudo-Roman empire setting. Then I read (and enjoyed, mostly, although I had to suspend disbelief a lot) Pierce Brown’s Red Rising and Golden Son (2 parts of a dystopian trilogy set in an interplanetary futuristic pseudo-Roman empire) and decided that the Roman motif is getting a bit overdone. I also read Lady Thief and Lion Heart, the two sequels to Scarlet, and loved her take on the Robin Hood mythos. Most recently, I just finished Archetype by M.D. Waters and am in the middle of the sequel, Prototype. I’m enjoying the setting (vaguely A Handmaid’s Tale-ish. Come to think of it, enjoying is perhaps the wrong word) but driven to distraction by the fact that the main character/narrator doesn’t use contractions. I think it’s a deliberate choice and linked to the big reveal at the end of book 1, but it’s never explicitly addressed and it makes the dialogue feel a bit stilted.


TV-wise, we’re mostly watching through (and loving) Psych right now. It’s refreshing to have a procedural show that doesn’t take itself so seriously. I love how deliberately over-the-top it is (although, let’s be real, Shawn is a terrible person and Juliet should never date him, but probably will).


August featured new releases from two of my favourite acts ever: Nichole Nordeman (first new album–ok, EP–in 10 years, woot!) and Rend Collective, so those have been pretty much playing on a loop for the last week or so. I’m especially loving Rend Collective’s Every Giant Will Fall.


We spent a week this August road-tripping to Minnesota and back, so there was a lot of eating out this month. Favourites were Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza in Chicago (obvs) and deep-fried breaded Wisconsin cheddar curds at a roadside A&W (don’t judge. They were fabulous.)

When not on the road, I’ve been taking advantage of the fact that peaches are in season here in Ontario right now, and they are to die for. Seriously, definitely a contender for my favourite fruit. I’ve been trying to make one peach recipe per day. Probably my favourite was the first one I tried: Seared Halloumi, Caramelized Peach, and Cherry Arugula Salad. Also pretty freaking fabulous, Grilled Peach, Blueberry, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Salad, Peach and Honeyed Whipped Feta Crostini. As usual, you can find all of my favourites of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest Board.

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Aaron and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary this month. We spent the day in Chicago, enjoying some of the city’s museums and capping off the day with a performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona in Oak Park (I may have found a Shakespearean protagonist I despise more than Romeo!). My favourite stop was definitely the Field Museum. We got there two hours before it closed and barely made it halfway through the permanent exhibits. There’s so much to see!


From Chicago, we drove on to the outskirts of the Twin Cities, where we celebrated the wedding of Aaron’s youngest brother in a lovely nature park just outside Minneapolis. I was sorry not to get to visit my family the way we usually do in August, but I’m super excited for my BIL and his new wife.

Finally, this month, I got to watch my home church blow me away with their generosity as we collected school supplies and snacks for the children living in the local women’s emergency shelter. We folded the back seats down and still had to try to cram everything into my car. I’m so grateful to call Lamplight family. They are the best.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to visit some of the other link-up submissions over on Leigh’s blog.

What I’m Into July 2015

The end of July has come, along with a welcome respite from last week’s heat wave (I really should live in England. Cool and rainy year round really is my weather sweet spot). As usual, I am linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I was into last month.



Last month, I started and loved A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. This month, I devoured the next two books in the series: Tropic of Serpents and Voyage of the Basilisk. The Victorianesque memoir theme is a fun conceit, and Lady Trent is a delightful character. I’m pretty psyched for book 4 to release next year. I also enjoyed Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor a lot. Court intrigue is always good fun. I read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel  in one sitting and couldn’t sleep afterward. I think reading about the beginnings of the apocalypse in Toronto was just a little too close to home for comfort.


I watched two whole movies on Netflix this month (somehow I can watch 3 40 minute episodes in a row, but a movie seems like a huge time commitment. Not sure why this is.) I deeply regret wasting the time it took to watch the Maze Runner, which was basically a 2-hour video game sequence void of any real plot or character development. However, I loved loved loved Galaxy Quest, which I had never seen before. Fact: Alan Rickman makes anything he’s a part of 10 times as awesome.

TV-wise, I’ve been working through Psych and Full House. I’ve also been watching UnREAL, although the cynicism is getting a bit much for me. I like my shows idealistic (I miss you, West Wing!)


Culinarily, July is a bit of an awkward month, because it falls smack dab between my two favourite growing seasons: strawberry and peach (you should see the recipes I’ve got on the docket for next month). I did manage to make the best of it, though. These Greek salad skewers are so much fun (and surprisingly healthy). I also love love loved this one-pot orzo with tomatoes, feta, and parmesan (I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of money on feta this month. No regrets). My friend Anna and I also rocked this recipe for laminated basil pasta with garlic brown butter sauce (I am trying to talk myself out of buying a pasta roller).The piece de resistance this month, though, was Aaron’s birthday cake: blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream.

Aarons cake


I’ve been loving hanging out with friends at games nights, karaoke nights, and working bees (I’m not much a construction worker, but I justify my presence on the scene by providing dessert and childcare). I’ve also been taking a stab in earnest at getting my license, which means my longsuffering husband has spent hours and hours with me in the car. Tonight, after a good hour of parking practice, he begged me to stop and go home because “I’m getting motion sickness and this is like the world’s least exciting amusement park ride.” I am getting the hang of it, though. July’s been busy for us, and August is shaping up to be busier. We’re Minnesota-bound (with a stopover in Chicago for our anniversary) for Aaron’s youngest brother’s wedding and looking forward to driving through some parts of the continent we haven’t seen before.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to check out Leigh’s blog for some other link-up contributions.

What I’m Into June 2015

Happy Canada Day (an hour late), dear readers! I am, as usual, linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into this month.


To be honest, I’ve pretty much lost count of how many books I read this month. I’m blanking on most of them, so they can’t have been that memorable. My favourites were Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross (a follow-up to Kill Me Softly, also set in Beau Rivage), Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge (it wasn’t quite Cruel Beauty, but she still rocks the redone fairy tale), and A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan (a fantasy novel with the feel of a Victorian memoir–great fun!)


Since it’s summer, most of my regular shows have been on hiatus and I haven’t quite known what to do with myself show-wise. I ended up watching through the new season of Orphan Black, the first season of The Good Wife (I love a good legal drama, but I can’t help but think how much simpler Alicia’s life would have been if she’d just broken up with Peter before the show even started. Seriously, he’s the worst). I’ve also been watching through Full House for the first time and finding it surprisingly enjoyable. The scene where Jesse and Joey follow Stephanie out the door on her first day of school while singing Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof is pure gold. I’m also 95 percent sure that, if this show had aired 20 years later, Jesse and Joey would have become a couple.

I’ve also watched a surprising amount of movies this month, thanks to rediscovering the library’s DVD collection. Judi Dench was phenomenal in Philomena, and I held back tears through the whole second half of Saving Mr. Banks. And then, pf course, I had to watch Mary Poppins again. Aaron and I also went to see Inside Out with friends, and I cannot rave about it enough. The whole audience was alternately in stitches and in tears. Pixar has outdone itself, for sure (and the casting was spot-on, too). Also, Sadness is my spirit animal. This is me, all summer.


This month, food-wise, I’m  majorly into strawberries. Summer is unquestionably my favourite culinary season. I can barely bring myself to touch imported out-of-season strawberries, but in June I’ll happily spend a premium on a beyond ridiculous amount of fresh, juicy strawberries. Food photography isn’t my forte, but I assure you that this pan-fried halloumi with strawberries and mint was to die for

I also loved this chocolate cake with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream.

I’ve also taken advantage of rhubarb season, and I think this rhubarb custard tart with pecan shortbread crust was my favourite experiment on that front.

As usual, you can find all my favourite recipes of the month (and there are more than usual, because summer!) on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest Board.


June hasn’t been the jet-setting month May was for me, but it’s been a good kind of busy in its own way. We’ve done a lot of having people over for food (I need to find people to help us eat all these desserts I’m making while fruit is in season) and games (this just in, Hanabi is wicked hard, but addictive). It’s shaping to be a quieter, more stay-at-home summer for us, and I’m looking forward to it.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog and check out some of the other submissions.

What I’m Into May 2015


I’m linking up a little later than usual this month with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into this month, and what I’ve been into has been mostly travel. I had the privilege of visiting family in Germany and France and seeing parts of Switzerland and Italy while I was across the Atlantic. I actually wrote most of this post at O’Hare waiting for my last flight home before my laptop battery ran out.


I read surprisingly little this month, considering how much time I spent in transit, but most of my favourite reads of the month were recommendations that Leigh and Mary from Giving Up On Perfect made last month (the book recommendations are the reason I started following this link-up in the first place). The Collectors’ Society brought together a number of characters from beloved works of fiction and put them in a new setting, and Scarlet is a new take on Robin Hood. I can’t give the twist away, because it’s a major plot point, but it’s definitely worth a read. Also, I could not put down Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. So good! I pretty much just want to read all. the. things. by her now.


I didn’t get to do a whole lot of my own cooking and baking this month because of my travels (though this Cherry, Goat Cheese, and Prosciutto Pizza, Pulled Pork Pizza with Roasted Garlic and Maple Barbecue Sauce, and this Salted Honey and Meyer Lemon Shortbread Tart all come highly recommended), but I definitely enjoyed the chance to eat my way across Western Europe. Both my aunt and my uncle are, as it turns out, pretty excellent bakers, so I got to entirely too much of these lovely cakes.

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Other culinary highlights of my trip include this spectacular chicken and couscous from A l’Orientale, a Tunisian restaurant in Strasbourg and this potato, sausage, and zucchini flower pizza from Grazie a Dio e Venerdi from the Monti district in Rome.

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I also got to visit my sister’s favourite tea shop in Lyon, where we enjoyed some rhubarbade and fabulous millionaire shortbread bars.

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Hands down my favourite thing I ate on this trip, though, was the gelato from Gelateria Fatamorgana in Rome. If you’re ever there, this gelato is unmissable! My favourite flavour was definitely the Basil, Honey, and Walnut gelato, but I also really enjoyed the Ginger, Chestnut Honey, and Lemon Gelato and my sister was a big fan of the Punch Paradise flavour (strawberry, lemon, and white wine).

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I flew in and out of Dusseldorf on my Europe trip, but I also took the chance while I was over the Atlantic to buy a Eurail pass and see some places I’ve always wanted to see.  I ended up visiting Trier, Strasbourg (new favourite city? I think so!), Lyon (where my sister has been working as an au pair for the past year), Florence, Rome, Avignon (another unmissable spot, and easily managed in a day), and Geneva. Here are some of my favourite sights:

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The Porta Nigra in Trier

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Ile de France, a lovely corner of old Strasbourg that dates back to the early modern period

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The view from Croix Rousse in Lyon (you can see the basilica on top of the next hill. Related, walking in Lyon is less fun than enjoying the view from the hills.)

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The view from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence.

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The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome

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The Papal Palace in Avignon

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Lac Leman and the Jet d’Eau, as seen from the Jardin Anglais in Geneva (seriously, the parks in Europe in general are gorgeous. I also really liked the Jardin de l’Orangerie in Strasbourg and the Parc de la Tete d’Or in Lyon).

Exciting sightseeing aside, though, the best part of my trip was definitely the chance to see my aunts and uncles and cousins and to spend a week of quality time with my sister/BFF, who is an au pair in southern France this year.

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With my cousin at karaoke at the Irish Pub Trier (let the record reflect that I hit every note in Defying Gravity, in the original key)/at the Parc de la Tete d’Or with my sister

Also, hours on the train meant time to cross stitch, so after a long lull I actually finished two pictures this month:

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Now I’m back home, missing my family across the Atlantic but happy to be with my husband again, and my fridge is groaning under the weight of our travel magnet collection.

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That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog for more link-up submissions.

What I’m Into April 2015


April is drawing to a close (and on a lovely note–we’ve had absolutely gorgeous weather the past few days), which means that it’s time once again to link up with Leigh Kramer to talk about what I’ve been into this month.


As I mentioned last month, I set about rectifying a tragic oversight from my childhood and read the Harry Potter books for the first time, and you guys, I can’t believe I waited this long. They’re so good! (Although they did remind me of how much I don’t miss high school.) I don’t think I’ve ever identified as much with a character as I did with Hermione, and I bawled and bawled and bawled when Dobby died. I also watched all 8 movies (verdict: not nearly enough Dobby, and it’s a shame that Hugh Grant had to pull out of playing Gilderoy Lockhart at the last minute, but otherwise good). I also feel like I now understand a good 25% of the pop culture references I had previously been missing.

I also read Octavia Butler’s Earthseed books (slightly unsettling because they’re set in a frighteningly plausible near-future dystopia), Stacey Jay’s Of Beast and Beauty (a novel take on Beauty and the Beast), and a few other YA novels.


We acquired several new games on Kijiji (Canada’s Craiglist) this month, and I’ve been eagerly roping people into trying them out with us. We played several rounds of Bang!, an Old West dice game that’s sort of a cross between mafia and Yahtzee, and really enjoyed it (although I believe I have yet to win). I also tried and enjoyed Citadels, Alhambra, and San Juan, all strategy-lite games that involve building cities or palaces. I think my favourite new game of the month, though, was a trivia game called Wormhole. It’s basically like Trivial Pursuit, but tailor-made for me, because it focuses mainly on my best areas (geography, history, and culture) and all but ignores my worst(sports and dated pop culture).


We’ve been home visiting family for about half the month, so I didn’t get the chance to cook as much as I usually do (except for pizza. I made pizza three times while I was home), I can, however, enthusiastically recommend this oven-roasted chicken wings recipe from Martha Stewart and these hazelnut butter chocolate chip cookies. As far as pizza recipes go, my favourite new one was definitely this sausage, pear, basil, and goat cheese pizza. As usual, you can find my favourite recipes on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest Board.


As I mentioned, we spent over half the month at home with our families. it was a great, restful time, and we got to meet our newest niece for the first time and snuggle with her a little. I also got the chance, while I was home, to go to a small retirement get-together for one of my undergraduate professors. He’s been a fabulous mentor for me ever since my first year (in fact, he’s the reason I majored in history in the first place) and it was lovely to see him again and to wish him well.

That’s about it for me. April’s been lovely, but low-key. Stay tuned for next month’s post, in which I will tell you all about my upcoming European travels. Two more weeks to go! Be sure to head over to Leigh’s page for more posts.

What I’m Into March 2015


Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.


My favourite reads of the month were Melissa Cruz’ The Ring and the Crown (I loved the fact that the ending felt realistic, unlike pretty much every other book ever featuring royal/commoner star-crossed lovers) and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. I also just decided a few days ago to give Kindle Unlimited a try, so I’ve started reading through the Harry Potter series for (shamefully) the first time. I realize I’m super behind on literally every other person my age who grew up with the books, but I’m enjoying them so far.


Aaron was away at a men’s retreat this weekend, so I binge-watched a ridiculous number of romantic comedies on Netflix. My favourite was definitely What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which had me tearing up more than once. I also watched two movies in theatres this month: Cinderella (visually stunning, but a somewhat insipid heroine, and I missed the talking mice), and Insurgent (I’m reminded as I see them in theatres just how far short this series falls of The Hunger Games).


I’ve been keeping up with all the usual TV this month, although I’m not wild about the direction Once Upon a Time is going. I’m hoping the creators mercifully wrap things up and let everyone live happily ever after already. And of course, March was the month The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt released on Netflix. We binge-watched the whole thing within 48 hours. No regrets! I also watched through the first season of Galavant (a musical comedy set in medieval times) twice, and really enjoyed it. The first few episodes are only ok, but the  latter ones had me in stitches. I’m definitely keeping “If you have more children than teeth, you might be a peasant” in my back pocket to pull out during a lecture someday. Aaron and I have also been watching through Mom and finding it surprisingly enjoyable, although it’s been odd seeing Allison Janney playing a character like Bonnie Plunkett after getting used to seeing her as CJ Cregg on The West Wing.


Aaron and I travelled to Toledo, OH this month to see Rend Collective, Tenth Avenue North, and Chris Tomlin in concert. Rend Collective now has the distinction of being the only band I’ve seen more than once, and they’re well worth seeing, They radiate this infectious enthusiasm every time they’re onstage. Tenth Avenue North, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing live. I love their discography, but the lead singer turned out to have a surprisingly douchey stage persona. The whole rock star thing he was trying to cultivate really didn’t mesh with Tenth’s catalogue.

I’ve also downloaded the Galavant soundtrack and have been playing it a lot on my commute. It’s good fun.


I couldn’t let Pi Day pass by without a Pi Day pie party, so I took the excuse and made three different pies. My favourite was unquestionably this fabulous lemon blueberry cream pie. So good! I also loved this key lime pie trifle, although it turns out that juicing key limes is a really annoying task. As usual, you can find my favourite recipes of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest Board.

That’s it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog for more link-up submissions. They’re always a great way to find new music, books, recipes, and more.

What I’m Into February 2015


Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month. February’s been cold, cold cold, and I’m hoping that March brings us a bit of spring. It could always be worse, though. My family back home has been getting unbelievable amounts of snow, almost enough to make me glad I’m not there right now. Below is one of the many pictures Buzzfeed gathered.

View image on Twitter


Inspired by this xoJane article on black female YA authors, I decided to try diversifying my reading list. And when I say diversifying, it’s still 50-75% dystopian YA, the settings are just more varied. I read Nalo Hopkinson’s The Chaos (set in Toronto, but with Caribbean folktale undertones), Alaya Dawn Johnson’s The Summer Prince (set in futuristic Brazil. I loved the setting, but could not get behind the characters’ sexual mores. Apparently futuristic Brazil is one gigantic orgy), and am in the middle of Nnedi Okorafor’s The Shadow Speaker, set is a fantastical dystopian Niger. I also read and enjoyed A.G. Howard’s Ensnared, the final installment in her Wonderland-inspired Splintered series. Howard wins for neatest love triangle resolution I have yet to see in a YA novel.


You guys, that Parks and Rec finale! Be still my heart. I’m going to miss that show so much, but I also do think it went out at the right time, on the best possible note. Leslie Knope will forever be my role model. I’ve kept following the rest of my usual shows as well. My favourites: Jane the Virgin (that Sin Rostro reveal!) and Call the Midwife (still cannot even get through an episode without crying.)  I also added Fresh Off the Boat (I love Eddie’s relationship with his dad) and Hindsight (mainly for the 90’s nostalgia, even though I was, like, 4 in 1995) to the watch list. For binge-watching purposes, Aaron and I have been going through Orphan Black (you guys, Tatiana Maslany is a genius!) and I’ve been watching through 18 to life, about a couple that marries out of high school. Basically, I watched so much TV this month that I have no idea how any work got done.


I’d forgotten to check on Anthem Lights’ new covers for awhile, so I had a whole new album’s worth to enjoy. Their songwriting skills need work, and even their videos are getting hokier now that production values are higher, but those guys can harmonize!

Also, I know I’m a year behind on this, but I finally checked out Postmodern Jukebox this month and I love love love them. Seriously so much fun to hear these old-fashioned covers of modern hits.


This Nutella Berry Bruschetta is pretty much my favourite party food ever. So cute, so delicious, and really easy! I also loved these Meatball Biscuit Sliders and these Deconstructed Burger Skewers. As usual, you can find all my favourite culinary ventures of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.


Lyz Lenz’s essay on Swinging with Absalom on The Toast has been haunting me ever since I read it. I’m finding it hard to verbalize how it makes me feel, but it’s sticking with me.

Also on The Toast, I read through and loved the “How to Tell What Novel You’re In” archive. (Sample, from “How to Tell if You’re in a Victor Hugo Novel“: “You come across a stranger in a darkened alley by a cathedral—but is it a stranger? No! For there are but twelve people in all of France, and you have long and complicated histories with all of them.”)

These famous paintings superimposed with Mean Girls quotes might be my favourite thing ever, except for possibly this history of Henry VIII as told by Taylor Swift.

That’s about it for me for the month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog and check out some of the other submissions.

What I’m Into January 2015


Once again, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this first month of the new year.


Out of the 10 or so books I read this past month, my favourites were all time-travel themed. I know it’s a theme that’s played out, but both of these had a new take that I appreciated.

Kindred by Octavia Butler: This book is set half in the antebellum South and half in Los Angeles in 1974. The main character, Dana Franklin, travels back in time and becomes part of the lives of her great-great-grandmother (a slave) and her great-great-grandfather (a plantation owner). It was a bit of a tough read, but also really good.

The Chronos Files Series by Rysa Walker: This one is more YA standard time-travel fare, but I love it because in this universe a) time travel is invited by historians to facilitate research (want!) and b) the religious movements historian goes rogue and alters history to create his own religious movement (complete with an apocalypse he tries to engineer himself), which is a completely believable conflict to me.


January 2015 was the month of movies in the Moss household. I saw no fewer than 3 different movies in theatres: Into the Woods (recommend), The Imitation Game (not bad) and Selma (definitely recommend). I also watched The Other Woman on TV and found it surprisingly enjoyable (mostly because I find movies about jerks who get what they deserve deeply satisfying).


You guys, that last Parenthood episode! Aaron called it and I didn’t want to believe him. I’ll miss the show, but I’m especially glad to see Joelia back on a solid footing again. I’ve also been watching through Happy Endings on Netflix, and just started Jane the Virgin, which I’m loving. The narrator makes the show, imo.


I just downloaded Bethel’s new album We Will Not Be Shaken, and I’m especially liking No Longer Slaves

I’ve also been listening to Bellarive’s Before There Was and really enjoying the whole album. They don’t have a lot of it up on Youtube, but this track is one of my favourites (though I’m not sure how much I care for the video).

And of course, since watching Selma, I have not been able to get Glory by John Legend and Common out of my head. So good!


I tried so many favourite new recipes this month, it’s hard to pick just a few. These Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Chamomile Whipped Cream were stunning, as was this Mixed Green Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette and Bacon-Wrapped Roasted Pears and this Lasagna Dip (to be enjoyed with homemade baguette crisps). As always, you can find all my favourites of the month on my monthly What I’m Into Pinterest board.


I got right into the academic swing of things after Christmas break, as I had a conference at the Newberry Library in Chicago. I enjoyed getting to see the city again and presenting and meeting other grad students at the conference. I experienced a bit of culture shock, however, when I realized that the Newberry Library had to put no firearms signs on all its doors. I also came home to a clean apartment and these lovely flowers in my office. Did I mention that my husband is the best?

That’s it for me for this month. Be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog to check out some other submissions.



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