What I’m Into February 2014

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How is February over already? And how are we already halfway through winter term? I need to try not to think about this too much. But, as usual, I’m wrapping up the month by linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of what I’ve been into this month.

Books

  • The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith. This was the latest instalment in the Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, and as charming as ever. I’m still bummed that BBC cancelled the tv show adaptation after 1 season.

  • Cress by Marissa Meyer. This is book three in a series called The Lunar Chronicles, which is a series of sci-fi adaptations of fairy tales. I’m not much for sci-fi, but I do love fairy tales, and Aaron’s the other way around, so this is a series we can both enjoy together. The premise sounds a bit lame, I know, but I’ve really been enjoying them.

  • Champion by Marie Lu. This is book three in Marie Lu’s Legend series, which I started in the summer and loved. I won’t give away the ending or anything, but I am glad I finally got my hands on book 3.

TV

  • Binge-watching: Veronica Mars (just finished, so pumped for the movie!) and Gilmore Girls (we’re on season 7, and starting to get bummed about the fact that none of the characters except for Logan and Mrs. Kim have shown any growth since season 1. Also, I would totally be up for a spinoff show about Lane and Zach).
  • Keeping up on: Parks and Rec, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory (go Amy Farrah Fowler!), Community, Modern Family, and Call the Midwife (Chummy’s back :D).

Movies

  • Slumdog Millionnaire: watched this one for the first time on the plane home from Germany at the beginning of the month. I’m a sucker for the trivia show as a plotline, although this is much darker than E.L. Konigsburg’s The View From Saturday.
  • A Goofy Movie: one of my favourites. We went over to friends’ for an afternoon of Disney movies, and this was my pick because Powerline.
  • The Great Mouse Detectives: Our friends’ pick for the Disney movie afternoon. I hadn’t actually seen it before, but it was pretty adorable.

Food

So many favourite new recipes this month! I loved these chocolate and pistachio sliced cookies, and this hachis parmentier (French shepherd’s pie, way better than the original) was to die for. And this Moroccan-spiced chicken with pistachio lemon couscous was absolutely amazing (and dairy-free,Leigh) and my husband was a huge fan of this pasta al pomodoro recipe. You can find these and all my other favourites over on my What I’m Into Pinterest board for the month.

Music

Just one musical obsession for the month: while in Germany, I heard a few songs from a group called Glaubenszentrum (think German Hillsong). Anyway, I loved their stuff, and I’ve been listening to their Gott und König (God and King) CD pretty obsessively since I got back. It’s also had the side effect of improving my grasp on German grammar.

IRL

  • As I’ve alluded to, I made a brief trip to Germany at the end of January/Beginning of February to attend my grandfather’s funeral and see the rest of my family. I was glad I could be there, but it went too fast. I’m happy to say that my family and I have plans to go again in the summer, so I’ll be able to spend more time with everyone, and maybe even take a few days to see some favourite historical sites.
  • I got to preach again this month. I was pretty much all over the place with my preparation, and had to cut out about three ideas that were too complicated to pull off in the time I had, but it went well. I’m so grateful to belong to a church that allows me the opportunity to preach (and grateful that I don’t have to do it every week, because it’s a lot of work. Props to the pastors who do).
  • And, on the cross-stitch front, I’ve been obsessed with the Pixel People patterns from the Wee Little Stiches shop on Etsy. Here’s what I’ve finished so far, please excuse the terrible photography, and please forgive me if you start quoting The Princess Bride and can’t stop. That happened to me too while I was making it.:

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Anna is my own design, I got tired of waiting for the pattern to be updated (it has been now, and you get both Anna and Elsa in their iconic outfits)

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That’s it for me for February, be sure to head over to Leigh’s and check out everyone else’s submissions.

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What I’m Into January 2014

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I’m a bit late on this monthly recap, as I unexpectedly spent the end of January wifi-less in Germany (first transatlantic travel in 12 years!), but as usual I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer to share some of the things I’ve been into this January.

Books:

  • The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde, books 1-7. I really enjoyed these, especially 1-4. They’re quirky and there are a lot of fun references for literature geeks.
  • The Graceling trilogy by Kristin Cashore. I mostly enjoyed this series, although as a fan of committed monogamy I found some of the main characters’ sexual mores a bit cringeworthy. Also, am I the only one who completely doesn’t buy the claim that Katsa and Po are supposed to love each other so much, but they really don’t want to get married? Not just don’t feel it’s necessary, but reject it completely?
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey. This was my plane ride read when I realized I could not bring myself to be productive and read Heiko Oberman’s The Dawn of the Reformation. I regret nothing, and I only hope my chuckling to myself didn’t annoy my seatmates too much. If you like Tina Fey’s work as a screenwriter, you’ll like this book.

Movies:

  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty–not amazing, but pretty not bad, as my husband would say. And some gorgeous landscapes.
  • Despicable Me–I hadn’t seen this before and, while I think it may have been a bit overhyped, I did enjoy it.
  • Aladdin–A rewatch, since I recently acquired it (I finally have a complete collection of Disney princess movies!). I get the genie’s numbers stuck in my head way too often, but it’s all good
  • Legally Blonde: The Musical–Not strictly a movie, I went to see a local production of the play. Somewhat unfortunately, the two catchiest numbers are “Ohmigod You Guys!” and “Gay or European,” neither of which I particularly wanted to be caught singing under my breath, but I did enjoy myself. Aaron opted out of this particular show, and I went with some girlfriends instead.
  • Austenland–This was a plane watch on the Toronto-Pearson flight. It wasn’t a bad way to spend two hours (although I’m glad I opted out of shelling out to see it in theatres), but I don’t totally buy the love story.

TV:

  • I’ve been keeping up with the usual shows: Community, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, Parks & Rec, and Modern Family.
  • We also watched through season three of Sherlock in one sitting, which in hindsight may have been a bad idea, since we’re now left waiting another year for more..
  • Aaron and I have also been continuing with our Gilmore Girls watch-through and are just done season 5. I’m loving that Lorelai and Luke are a thing, but realizing how much I don’t like Rory (and don’t understand why everyone in Stars Hollow loves her so much. She’s self-absorbed, not particularly considerate, and honestly fairly unremarkable).
  • And, like Leigh, I finished season 1 of Veronica Mars this month. However, unlike Leigh, I’m thinking Team Duncan. Logan rubs me the wrong way–he’s kind of entitled.
  • Board Games:

    • I’ve been really into Ticket to Ride and Carcassone this month. I also played Dominion for the first time and managed to eke out a win despite having no idea what was happening.

    Food:

    Online:

    • I enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell’s thoughts over at Relevant on how he rediscovered faith.
    • I got chills reading Joy Bennett’s description of her ordination, particularly the Luther Lee quote she included.
    • And finally, Greg Boyd’s interview on Open Theism (or, as he prefers to call it, the open view of the future) over at RHE’s blog is well-worth a read. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dr. Boyd. (Also, he answered my question!)

    IRL:

    I finished up the Eshet Chayil cross-stitch I was working on, as well as an ironic “Home is” one that I quite enjoy. Currently, I’m almost done the Disney Princesses pixel people cross stitch from wee little stiches, and toying with the idea of designing Anna myself to round it out.

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    I’m also having a ton of fun with my TA work. I was assigned to a course on Early Modern women, which is my all-time favourite subject matter, so I’ve really been enjoying myself. To give you an idea of how much I geek out over this, I already owned the textbook because I had asked for it for my birthday two years ago.

    Finally, on a less happy note, my grandfather passed away at the end of the month. It wasn’t unexpected, as he’d been quite ill for some time. I hadn’t seen him in 12 years, since he lives in Germany and my family hasn’t really had the money for transatlantic airfare for 6 in awhile, but my husband and I were able to come up with the money for me to head over to Essen for a long weekend and join my mother and her side of the family at the funeral. I’m so grateful I was able to go and to spend time with my grandmother and the rest of my German family. International travel tends to make me nervous, mostly because I tend to worry excessively at border crossings (I agonized for 10 minutes about whether to declare a Toblerone bar on the grounds that it was “sort of a milk product), but the border crossings went off without a hitch, and none of my planes crashed, and I’m not even terribly jet-lagged, so I’m going to call my first transatlantic flight in twelve years a success, even if the bathrooms on planes have gotten a lot smaller since I was 9.

    That’s it for me for January, be sure to head over to Leigh’s blog to check out some of the other contributions.