We’re four weeks into summer and it’s time for another What I’m Into post. This summer has been glorious so far, with milder than usual weather (no 100-degree days yet!) and with later mornings and energy (and time) to actually do some fun, “just because I want to” activities. As always, I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer today for her What I’m Into series. Click on through to see what other bloggers and into and up to right now!
What I Read:
These are the books I’ve read since my last Quick Lit post:
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
Once again, Louise Penny does not disappoint. She knows how to weave a mystery and the characters of Three Pines keep getting more and more familiar. This was one of my favorites so far. If you’re new to the series, I recommend starting at the beginning, but it’s not necessary. 4/5 stars
Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf
This is a great book that explains how are bodies are designed to eat, and why overeating is such a hard habit to quit. Wolf recommends a paleo diet, and I’m currently working my way through his 30 day reset (sort of like a Whole 30). Unlike lots of diet books, this one is an easy read and Wolf’s witty personality comes through in his writing. This would be a great introduction book into paleo dieting. 4/5 stars
The End of Summer by Rosamunde Pilcher
Rosamunde Pilcher has been around for a long time and I’ve never read any of her books. I’ve heard great things about The Shell Seekers, but wanted something shorter so I borrowed this romance from the library. It was okay but predictable and a little bland for my taste. The writing is great, but the plot was lacking. 3/5 stars
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
This is the follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, which I loved. I wanted to love this one, too, but it just didn’t come together for me. Each chapter is a short story about a different character who knew or knew of Lucy Barton, and some of them are interesting. But in the end I just got bored and depressed. 3/5 stars
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
What mother of young kids hasn’t at least thought about running away? Protagonist Maribeth is a stressed-out working mom — so much so that she has a heart attack and doesn’t even realize it. After coming home from the hospital, she is overwhelmed and ends up packing her bags and leaving. Don’t worry — this book does have a happy ending — but I loved reading about Maribeth’s struggle because it was so relatable to me as a mom. Plus Forman’s writing is pleasant and easy reading. 4/5 stars
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
Absolutely fantastic!! This is the first book of Lehane’s I’ve read, but I’m now a fan! His writing is superb and the plot of this suspense thriller just got better as it went along. It centers around a female journalist who has a nervous breakdown on air and the man who helps her through it. And that’s all I’ll say. 5/5 stars
The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
This was a mediocre mystery. Not nearly as jaw-dropping as I’d hoped, no real twists or turns, and — wait for it — an ax murder. Really? I give it a “meh.” Not terrible but not that great either. 3/5 stars
The Wellness Mama Cookbook by Katie Wells
I picked up the Kindle version of this on sale recently and am excited about trying some of the recipes. Lots of grain-free, family friendly recipes included with lovely photography. 4/5 stars
What I Watched:
Well, it’s official. I’ve fallen into the show hole. Boy do I need some TV recommendations.
I also caught up on Big Bang Theory and now there is nothing– absolutely nothing!! — to watch. Somebody help me!!
Other Stuff I’m Into:
1. Singing with Voci d’Amici
This is an annual choir of which I’m blessed to be a member. We sang together in Houston last weekend and I had a blast meeting up with old friends, making some new ones, and most of all — getting to create beautiful music with all of them! I wrote about the experience here.
So, yeah, I mentioned it in a couple of earlier posts, but I joined a gym. I’m going to 24 Hour Fitness near my house and I’ve even signed on for personal training sessions to hold myself accountable. I’m enjoying it so far, although my plantar fasciitis is still a HUGE problem, so I’m keeping everything low-impact.
One thing that really helps me with cardio workouts is this new app I found called Aaptiv. You can hop onto a treadmill or elliptical and a trainer will talk you through your workout. Again, there’s that accountability — someone actually walking through the workout with me — that gives me enough a boost to get through it. Even when it’s boring. Here’s a great article on Aaptiv’s blog to get you started on cardio machines if you’re interested!
The app isn’t cheap though. It’s $9.99 a month, and I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it, since that’s on top of what I’m already paying for the gym.
3. Paleo dieting
Yep, I’m at it again. Not quite at Whole 30 level, but I’m doing my best to avoid grains, dairy, legumes, and of course sugar for now. I feel so much better when I eat this way but I have to be honest — at my age it seems like nothing is helping me lose actual pounds. But at least I feel healthier, right? 🙁
One of my favorite new blogs is Steph Gaudreau’s Stupid Easy Paleo. Steph is so easy going and she’s all about “gaining health” rather than “losing weight.” She’s got some fantastic recipes on her site and I find her writing voice to be refreshing and encouraging.
That’s about it for this month — at least that’s all my lazy brain can think of right now!
What about you? What have you been into and up to during the month of June? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!
And please — for the love of God — send me some TV recommendations!!