What I’m Into (August Edition)


Welcome to my first What I’m Into blog post. I hope to make this a regular monthly occurrence in addition to my Looking Back posts where I share what I learned at the end of each month.

This new installment is inspired by Leigh Kramer. She hosts a What I’m Into link-up each month. If you are a blogger, I invite you to join with me.

What I'm Into button


This month I read a lot of books. I frequently used the Overdrive App and borrowed from my mom’s bookshelf.

Plus, I had an exciting opportunity to be apart of a book launch team for Shannan Martin’s first book Falling Free,  therefore I got an advance copy of the ebook. Hooray!

Below is a list of both the fiction and non-fiction books I read this month.


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2p_THE CROSSOVER jacket.indd  flora

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

beautifully written, slow paced, melancholy, with a comforting ending. It is not a favorite of mine, but I did enjoy it. There was something soothing about snuggling up with this book. The setting takes place both in New York City and a cabin in the woods on the outskirts of a small town. It was on my mom’s book shelf, which is why I gave it a try.

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate Dicamillo

whimsical, fantastical, funny children’s book, with a super-hero squirrel. Not my favorite of Kate Dicamillo. I listened to the audio version, which is silly and fun. The Elephant’s Magician is so far my favorite written by Kate.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

This was my favorite fiction book of the month, and I am not even into basketball! It is written in verse; poetry in motion.

“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell.  The Crossover, Kwame Alexander

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

serious, somber tone, moving and melancholy, but beautifully written. Another one that I could not say I recommend, mostly because I’m not into dark, sad stories, even though it was redeeming in parts. This was available for checkout on my Overdrive App so I gave it a try. Again, I appreciate how it is beautifully written and woven together.

Water from the Heart by Charles Martin

I borrowed Water from the Heart from my mom too. I found it a bit cheesy in parts, but my Mom really liked it. What I enjoyed was the descriptions of Central America; learning about the vegetation, culture, coffee and sugar cane industries.


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Face to Face with God: The Ultimate Quest to Experiencing His Presence by Bill Johnson

Interesting insight on connecting with God. I loved the beginning of the book, as well as the part of the book detailing specific examples of spiritual leaders throughout history and their encounters with God.

Falling Free by Shannan Martin

“Falling Free charts their pilgrimage from the self-focused wisdom of the world to the topsy-turvy life of God’s more being found in less. Martin’s practical, sweetly subversive book invites us to rethink assumptions about faith and the good life, push past insecurity and fear, and look beyond comfortable, middle-class Christianity toward a deeper, richer, and ultimately more fulfilling life.” (the book description off of amazon.com)

 I thought Emily P Freeman had a great description of this book. So I will just share it here;


Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

This was my favorite Non-Fiction book of the month. There is so much gentleness embedded in the theme of this book. I even wrote a blog post inspired from it; 3 Sticky-Note Reminders to Carry with You into the School Year

9 Things You Simply Must Do by Dr. Henry Cloud

Yes, to all the practical & Biblical advice in this book.

Shows & Movies


We sat around playing Catan in the August evenings, occasionally pausing our game to watch Simone Biles on the beam or Bolt on the track.

I’ll remember Oliver running around the game room, pretending to be in a race for the gold, or my Dad turning away with a grimace on his face saying “I can’t watch that” every time a balance beam routine was featured.

What to Watch Next?

Jeff and I have been on a bit of a tv show drought. We need some recommendations for a series we can dive into together.

What shows do you love?

Podcasts & Blogs

My podcast and blog picks mostly relate to writing, reading & creativity, but I have also listened to an occasional sermon.

Do you have any favorite podcast recommendations?

Things I Love

Back to School Photos

Here is my nephew Finn on his first day of Kindergarten.


Cafe Seville

Oliver, my mom, and I went to this cafe for brunch on my Birthday. Why am I so excited about the cute cafe’ with delicious food? It’s right around the corner from the home we are remodeling and moving into soon.

Emily P Freeman uses a hashtag #hometowntourist, which has inspired me to visit new restaurants or neat places around town.


Antoinette Baking Co.

This bakery is on the other side of town from me, but it’s worth the drive. I went to Antoinette’s twice this month; once with my mom and Oliver, and once with some girlfriends to celebrate my Birthday. Love the atmosphere and the treats. #hometowntourist

Pastel Painted Nails

As a Birthday treat my mom babysat Oliver while I got my nails done for the first time all year. I am usually unsure about the color I choose, but this time I loved my pick!


A related & recent blog post: On Being Polished


Have you heard of LipSense? My friend sells this lip stain and lip gloss that lasts all day. You can drink from your white Starbucks coffee cup and it will leave no trace. I am kind of obsessed with it, especially the apple cider and aussie rose color.


One Day at A Time

Back when I went through a seven year period of dealing with chronic pain, my best friend gave me a heart key with the phrase “one day at a time” on it. I have lost it numerous times, but it always seems to show up again. This time it reappeared underneath my car seat. I was so happy to find it. “One day at a time” has become such an important gentle reminder in my life.

Itty-Bitty Notebooks

I never tire of new journals and notebooks to fill and let my thoughts spill into. The above photo shows the pocket size pastel Moleskin brand notebooks from Target that I adore.


Rummaging through my parents attic I came across a big box of legos once belonging to my brothers. I took them out and let my 3 year old son play with them.

Now, all month he has been busy building with legos.

So, I’m into legos because Oliver is into legos, and that also means while he plays I get more stuff done. Woo Hoo!


Also, I’m loving Oliver’s wild bed-head hair.

Iris Art

@angela_thepaintedhouse shares “off-beat beauty” on her blog and Instagram feed. She recently shared a photo of some lovely art by Jenny Andrews-Anderson.

Did you know Iris also means rainbow?



Overdrive lets you borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and more from your local public library. All you need is a library card. It is saving me both money and trips to the library.

Google Photos 

Thank goodness for the Google Photo App. I run out of storage on my phone so quickly. At the rate I was downloading photos on my computer, it was going to crash soon. This has been a great solution.


I use this app to follow blogs and save post I like into different categories.


Canva is my favorite tool for designing social media and blog graphics. They
have thousands of beautiful layouts. First it only worked on a desktop computer, but now it works as a phone app too.

Endless Alphabet

This is Oliver’s favorite learning App; whimsical and fun.




6 thoughts on “What I’m Into (August Edition)

  1. I don’t know if I would get any reading done if it weren’t for Overdrive, it is truly amazing! I didn’t care for Lucy Barton either, it was just too slow for me. I’ve been hearing Shaun Niequist share about her recent book on many podcasts and am looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tried to get my 8 year old to pick up Flora and Ulysses, but maybe I will try The Elephant’s Magician instead. He loved Desperaux and Mercy Watson is a big hit in our house.

    I love the hometown tourist idea. I will have to see what treasures we can find in our community!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa….I’m so impressed by all the books you’ve read. You must be a speed-reader! Love all your recommendations. Wow! Finn looks like your brother, Jon!!!


    1. Hi Denise! Thanks for visiting my little creative corner of the internet!!! Well, I have to say I read way more than I usually did this past month. Two of the books were audio versions. Maybe it was the awful August heat; that had me wanting to stay in doors reading more.

      Also, I agree Finn and Jon look so much alike! It makes me smile!

      This month I haven’t made it through one book yet! Laughs


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