January 19, 2016

2016 Manifesto... and Some Catching Up

I showed up to write my yearly I-don't-like-New-Year's-goals post. Sounds like a positive, promising start, right?

Long time, no see, and much to say. 

Anyway, how you all been? What's going on? I recently logged into my twitter account and about half of you all are either engaged or expecting babies, and my jaw is dropping because I'm just now learning about all of your major life events that I missed while I was off working... and spending time with a young man--more on that later... but my absence here can be blamed primarily on him ;)

There's only so many hours in a given day--and I've missed being able to sit and write here.

When did life decide to start speeding through time at twice the rate? 2015 will be remembered as a year with many new beginnings, but also a year or rush and a faster pace of life. Joy and stress abounded alike.

Truth be told, I'm not sure 2016 will be any different in terms of busyness or fullness--not that there's anything wrong with living a full life... and everybody is busy these days. Here's what I did in 2015 that's not worth repeating in 2016: Making things that matter more at the mercy of things that matter the least. 

May life not be lived so, for much of life will be wasted and pointless.

It's hard to prioritize and say 'no' to things... especially if there's some cost to it. You feel me?

Shauna Niequist is my favorite author when it comes to memoirs and essays, and she's written a whole book on it (I think I need to go re-read it--much didn't stick). In order to live a life brimming with intentionality and purpose--a life that matters, it helps to make two lists. The first list is of all the things to say no to.

In 2016 I'm saying no to...
  • Requests and habits with my job that don't really benefit anyone. I'm saying no to time wasting and energy depleting tasks.
  • Investing time in relationships with people who really want to just keep things at surface level
  • Buying and acquiring stuff I already have or don't really need
  • Cramming as many books into my schedule to read as possible 
  • Constantly being tied to electronics
In 2016 I'm saying yes to...
  • Deep relationships with both family and friends and prioritizing my time so I can be present with them
  • Writing. Because I miss it and I need it. 
  • Figuring out church. And by that I mean, figuring out a rhythm of being in community and worship
  • Savoring books and taking my time to read them
  • Maintaining a healthier lifestyle
  • Taking action on financial goals
  • Creating! 
  • Saying no to the superfluous and purposeless and meaningless business 
Life is busy, life is full... but I want my life to be busy and full on purpose and for the right things. I want my life to busy and full of things that bring me joy, benefit others, and is glorifying to God.

December 31, 2015

Recent Reads

The Homemade Kitchen by Alana Chernila. A new staple cookbook to add to any kitchen shelf--the latest from Chernila is up there with classics such as Betty Crocker and The Joy of cooking in my opinion. The author walks her readers through the steps to getting spot-on dishes that everyone will enjoy. Alongside her recipes Chernila also offers up inspiring stories about her own journey in the kitchen while encouraging her readers to keep it simple and to do the same for their own cooking journeys.

July 14, 2015

Summer Reads and Reviews

1 || Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, as You Are, by Shauna Niequist (Purchase, Author's Site)

Reading any of Shauna's books feels like I'm sitting across from a close friend having a conversation, and as many of you will know I'm a fan of her writing. True to her writing style, she paints beautiful word pictures in sharing her stories and recipes in this devotional--enough to get you through 365 days.

One thing that should be noted though is that for other Niequist fans, this book repeats much of her previous works: Cold Tangerines, Bread and Wine, and Bittersweet. Because I love Shauna's writing so much, that was slightly disappointing as I would have loved to read new material from her. However, I cannot think if a purchase for a friend whom I'd like to get hooked on her writing too. 

2|| 7 Men and The Secret of their Greatness, by Eric Metaxas (Purchase, Author's Site)

From the best-selling author of Bonhoeffer, comes the book 7 Men and The Secret of their Greatness. The book is divided up and covers the following seven men: George Washington, William Wilberforce, Eric Liddell, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, Charles W. Colson. These seven men are all fairly well-known--and for good reason, for all seven achieved greats feats in each of their vocations, which in turn affected history at large. More importantly though, they did it all in steps of faith. 

As a history buff, this has definitely been a favorite of mine for this year. However, if reading an entire biography on just one man seems daunting, this just might be the book for you as it's like reading seven mini autobiographies. Metaxs writes with his detailed, well-versed, yet humorous tone throughout it all to draw you in to each man's exemplary life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

3 || Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into Extraordinary, by Mindy Segel (Purchase, Author's Site)

This book had me salivating with a glance at the cover: gooey cookies, chocolate cookies, melt-in-your-mouth cookies... and more. Cookie Love shares over 60 recipes from Mindy Segal's kitchen. What I love most about this cookbook is that there are no ingredients she uses in her recipes that I would have a hard time finding--the number one test for me when it comes to adding to my cookbook shelves. The photography is beautiful and the way Segal writes about her love for baking will make you want to dash to the flour and eggs and get straight to work. The perfect cookbook for your cookie monster friends and family.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Blogging for Books, as part of Waterbrook Multnomah‘s Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.