I invited my smart, talented and geeky-in-a-cool-way hubby, Adam, to join me this month and add some variety since we have pretty different taste when it comes to books and podcasts.
Last month I was beginning to wrestle with my smartphone addiction and this month I took a few steps to try and get that under control, while still enjoying some of the benefits. But in the months to come, I'll be sharing more about ways I'm hoping to live differently as it comes to clothing, money, relationships, technology & possessions; so sign up for emails to be sure you don't miss the exploration!
Here's a compilation of what we've been up to media-wise. This month actually marks the first time in my life that I said, "So I heard on this podcast..." Not sure if that makes me nerdier, or more cool...
Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith, by Sarah Bessey
I've had this book on my list since I started stalking the archives of Sarah's blog. Sarah invites her readers into her journey as she sorts out what to keep and what to dispose of when it comes to church and her spiritual beliefs (spoiler: there's not much that she throws out that had a right to be there to begin with). But if there's a single melody to her tune, it's her love song to Jesus throughout the entire book. If you need to fall in love with Jesus again, then Out of Sorts is the book for you.
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
You can read my review of this book here, but in a nutshell, it motivated me to declutter, but wasn't very practical if you have small children.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari
An amazing overview of the entirety of human history, from anthropology to politics to religion, a fascinating read.
A Tale For the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki
Japanese and American culture, writing, and quantum physics, what more could you want? Great characters and an engrossing story, one of my favorite books of the year so far.
Kiku's Prayer, by Shusako Endo
A recent translation into English from the writer of Silence and Deep River, this is a great book, but more for big fans of Endo's work.
Still working my way through the back episodes of this podcast. I feel like these ladies are becoming my friends and they have some really fabulous and relatable guests on the show.
Shalom in the City
Listened to all three episodes so far and loved them all! Osheta interviews women doing extraordinary things with their lives.
The first episode wasn't my favorite, but the one on technology was very helpful.
"Pumped on Trump" episode - a great look into Trump's popularity and the people that support him (because I wondered who actually did...).
This American Life
Something Only I Can See episode, a truly amazing story about two women who may or may not share a rare genetic disorder. Also in article form (with pictures!).
Birth Story episode - absolutely crazy story about surrogate mothers, cross-border adoption, and international absurdities.
Milk Wanted episode - the free market (a.k.a. free-for-all) of online breast milk.
Broccoli episode - did you know that broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, among others, are all actually the same plant? This episode will blow your mind, like, gray matter will literally leak out your ears.
(All made by Leslie, though enjoyed by Adam. We have a great gig, actually, I get to cook and he does the dishes!)
Spinach Pasta with Roasted Broccoli and Bell Pepper (Cookie + Kate)
This was probably my least favorite new recipe this month, though I made at least two of Cookie + Kate's other recipes that I've shared in previous posts. This one just seemed a little like something I could have just thrown together myself (which means that it wasn't very exciting). Not my fave.
Sunday Frittata (The Pioneer Woman)
I've actually made this before, but I think I made it twice this month, so it seemed worth mentioning. I skipped the olives since that seemed like a strange addition (even though I love olives), but pretty much followed the recipe. The only other change was that I cooked the potatoes with the onions since I didn't have any pre-cooked potatoes. Yum.
Skinny Spinach Lasagna (Pinch of Yum)
I guess I need to try a new lasagna recipe each month. Although I'm usually snobby about not using processed food, I went with the jarred spaghetti sauce in this one and the ease made it that much tastier (and more likely that I will make it again). Very good.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage (All Recipes)
Of course I had to make this, along with a friend's Irish Soda Bread recipe, for St. Patrick's Day (though it was mainly because I was having people over and it seemed like a good excuse for a feast!). I would definitely recommend this and the broth with extra veggies was great even after the meat was long gone. I'd make again for sure.
St. Patrick's Chocolate Mint Cheesecake Bars (All Recipes)
Again, though I was skeptical of using so many prepackaged items (cake mix and frosting, mainly), this was ah-ma-zing. And so worth cutting corners. I couldn't find mint chips, so I just cut up Andes mints instead and of course they tasted better than fine.
Fascinating Articles (according to Leslie):
America's Best Food Blogs
(A great list of blogs if you're looking for motivation in the kitchen!)
Because We're Too Lazy to Write an Actual Book, by Elizabeth and Jonathan Trotter
(A great list of resources from a husband and wife team of writers/bloggers relating to Christian marriage and missions.)
How White Privilege Affects 8 People of Color on a Day-to-Day Basis, by Paige Tutt for Bustle
Most Emergencies Aren't, by Joshua Fields Millburn for The Minimalists Blog
(For tips on reining in the smartphone addiction.)
We're Not Meant to do this alone: American Individualism is Destroying our Families, by Tarja Parssinen for Salon
When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression, by Chris Boeskool for Huffington Post
Why Jesus' Skin Color Matters, by Christena Cleveland for Christianity Today
Why I Ditched Social Media for Lent, by Cara Meredith for SheLoves Magazine
8 Truths Moms with Little Ones Really Need to Hear, by Melissa L. Fenton for Scary Mommy
New-to-me (Leslie) Blogs:
I stumbled on this blog and have loved the transparency of Esther's writing, but also hearing about their fascinating life living in a yurt in Idaho. I especially resonated with the posts listed here. They also do a Youtube channel about homesteading, homestead survival, off-grid solutions and permaculture (I'm honestly not even sure what that is...to google I go...)
Flower Patch Farmgirl
I came across this blog twice this month, so it must have been meant to be. The first time was as a resource about transracial adoption from my friend, Rachel, who I interviewed for this post. Just a day or two later, I heard the blogger, Shannan Martin, interviewed on episode 3 for the podcast Shalom in the City and just had to check out more of her work.
Life Considered/Judy Wu Dominick
Judy has some really great content on her site relating to helping Christians better engage across racial, cultural, religious and socioeconomic lines. The article that caught my attention was this one, called How Talking to Your Kids about Race Helps Fulfill the Great Commission.
From Scraping Raisins:
In case you missed it...
The Ugly Truth about Diversity
"Diversity is what I miss most about living in Chicago.
But though we were exposed to the world’s flavors, colors, textures and sounds, I often felt like an imposter. Was I actually friends with anyone who looked different from me or spoke a different language from me? Had they been to my home or had I been to theirs?
Do we wear diversity as a badge, patting ourselves on the back for being racially diverse without actually entering into any relationships with people of other races and cultures?" Continue reading...
On Race, Rights & Raising a Black Son: An Interview with Rachel Yantis
"I suppose at a base level, many fears are the same as they would be if my son were white. I want him to be a godly man filled with character and living out the gifts God has given him - whatever those end up to be. But, I think about safety. I think about mistaken identity. I think about stop-and-frisk. I think about the white umbrella and wonder how long he will be underneath it with us." Continue reading...
Friendship through the Layers
"I have layers. You have layers. Our layers usually lie dormant and unseen, though our oldest friends know the former versions of ourselves.
So as each year wraps yet another layer over my past experiences, I’ve found myself wondering how new friends will ever know the true me without knowing all that lies beneath the surface." Continue reading...
SAHMs and the Need to Create
"I’ve begun to notice a trend. Stay-at-home-moms are creating. In the void left by careers and education, we are given the gift of expanding into our potential as creators. From sheer observation alone, this is the time of life that stay-at-home parents are most likely to begin an Etsy shop, start a non-profit or business, write a blog, explore a new art form or become serious about a hobby. I used to belittle women who would spend hours on Pinterest for their children’s parties when a friend said to me, “Hey, we need to get our creativity out in some way!” Continue reading...
These posts are for a series I'm doing on Thursdays this year for anyone sorting through what it means to be a writer (and specifically a writer who follows Jesus). You're invited to join me on my journey!
Taming Spaghetti Brain
3 Myths of Perfectionism
The Well is Deep
When's the Last Time You Did Something Terrifying?
What about you? Do you have any books, podcasts, articles or blogs to recommend? We'd love to hear them! Have you come across any of the same media as us? What was your take?
Don't miss a post! Subscribe for emails and follow me on Twitter and Facebook
Last post: Taming Spaghetti Brain
Linking up with Leigh Kramer and Emily P. Freeman
Labels: 2016 Monthly Mentionables, books, links, podcasts, recipes, round-up