What I’m into (September 2014 edition)

What I’m into (September 2014 edition)


Growing up, I never understood people who claimed fall as their favorite season. To me, fall only meant that winter was right around the corner, and as a daylight junkie, I’ve never been on great terms with winter. Spring and summer had my heart.

But as I’ve gotten older (and as my seasonal allergies have gotten ever more brutal) fall has captured my heart. I adore September, and this has been a lovely September.

influence collage

I spent last weekend at the Influence Conference in Indianapolis. As always at this kind of thing, my favorite parts were the unanticipated ones: meeting new friends I didn’t know I wanted to meet, chatting with old friends I didn’t know were going to be there, and hanging out with my awesome roomies.

reds game

Barely twelve hours after getting home from the conference, my family piled in the car to drive up to Cincinnati for the last Reds game of the season. If we hadn’t bought the tickets earlier in the week (steeply discounted because the Reds have long been out of contention for the playoffs), I’m not sure we would have gone. (This homebody had been away from home for three days, after all.) But I’m so glad we went.

On the home front, the house progress continues, slowly but surely.

front porch

For some inexplicable reason, Will and I both woke up last Saturday morning saying, “we have to paint the front door today.” I picked out the color all by myself (with a little help from instagram), which means this might just be the first time in the history of my picking paint colors that I picked a winner on the first try. (Ben Moore. Chesapeake Blue.)

In the kitchen

tomato soup

It’s felt like summer for a week now, with highs in the 80s, but earlier this month we had a week of genuinely fall weather. Jacket weather. On one rainy day, we made soup and grilled cheese and it was glorious. I’m ready to move on from summer salads to fall comfort foods.

On that note: I’d be deeply grateful if you’d hit me with your favorite crock pot recipes in comments. I’m resolving to use mine more in the coming months.


And I finally, finally tried bulletproof coffee. We are bona fide coffee snobs around here. (It’s a blessing and a curse, I tell you.) Bulletproof coffee sounded like a surefire way to ruin a good cup of coffee. But I’ve had blood sugar issues ever since pregnancy #1, and bulletproof coffee is supposedly good for blood sugar stabilization.

I am pleased to report that it wasn’t terrible. It was pretty good, actually. I wouldn’t say I preferred it to my regular cup (black, and strong), but not because it’s worse, just different.

(To make it: add one tablespoon coconut oil and one tablespoon butter to twelve ounces of coffee, blend, and serve. A good blender is essential, and the quality of ingredients is paramount. I used Kerry Gold butter, Nutiva coconut oil, and my favorite locally roasted coffee, all thoroughly whirled up in my Ninja.)

what I'm reading

What I’m reading

As I’ve already told you on facebook, and in Sunday’s newsletter, and in yesterday’s post, I’ve fallen hard for Outlander. But I have so many good books in progress and on deck. Pictured above: Holy is the Day, The Geography of Memory, The Big Truck That Went By, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Light in August, On Teaching and Writing Fiction.

After I took that picture, I realized I’d forgotten the books on my nightstand: The Brothers K, The Accident, and A Lady at Willowgrove Hall.

This seems like a good time to mention this is how I make time to read, but there aren’t enough strategies in the world to get me through that list by the end of October. Hey, a girl can dream.

On the blog

Practice saying these five words out loud.

Forget summer reading. Here’s your autumn reading guide.

There are four possible levels of relationship.

The bored housewife as plot point.

My favorite apps.

Say it like you mean it.

The thirty-year rule.

Best of the web

Science shows something surprising about people who love to write.

Why introverts don’t always want to be alone. Let’s turn the conversation from “leave me alone” to “we enjoy connecting.”

How long it takes to read the world’s most popular books.

Using your phone as an alarm? Here’s why you should stop.

We have to go back: Lost, 10 years later.

What were you into in September?

Linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately. 

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  1. Gwyn says:

    Hello Anne,
    Do you buy all the books you read? How do you decide to buy book or purchase on Kindle?
    I just finished One Plus One & loved the book! I want to gather a good selection of non fiction, bio’s, bibliography, poetry & fiction but have no clue where to start! I’m overwhe!med! Suggestions?
    Thanks for all your great posts!

  2. Beth says:

    Loved the article on writing; thanks for sharing — and your door looks GREAT!

    I love my crockpot, especially for soups. And personally I love “mushy” vegetables, so even some potatoes/carrots/onion with Italian seasoning (last time I used a dressing packet) and a bit of olive oil is yummers to me.

    These meatballs are good and easy (or you could make your own meatballs, but that’s less easy — ha!): http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/04/slow-cooker-hawaiian-meatballs-recipe.html

    Love this baked potato soup with some homemade dinner rolls: http://www.food.com/recipe/low-fat-loaded-baked-potato-soup-283271

    I adapted this recipe for green chile chicken stew for the crockpot by basically just throwing all the ingredients in and cooking it until the potatoes were done (8-10 hours or so on low): http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1308964

    This white bean chicken chili is easily made in the crockpot, too, and is delicious with a little cheese on top and chips — this is one of my favorites!:

    Pasta e Fagioli (that makes a LOT) is hearty and yummy with with breadsticks: http://www.thecountrycook.net/2011/11/pasta-e-fagioli-slow-cooker.html?m=1

    And these pepperoncini sandwiches are super tasty and super easy:

    (Now I’m going to watch the comments for more great recipes!)

  3. Jamie says:

    I felt the same way about fall, but my husband has taught me to love it! Haven’t made it yet, but this one is in the works for Fall Crockpot To Try:


    Also, unless you don’t like using cream of whatever soup and frozen veggies, the following is a Go-To Easy one:

    Layer in the crockpot: 1 pound boneless chicken breast cut into strips/pieces, 15 oz can cream mushroom soup, 2, 16-oz pkgs frozen vegs for stew (potatoes, onions & carrots), 2 Tbsp butter (or margarine).

    I don’t know why, but it tastes so much better than it sounds. I’m excited for soups, especially French Onion.

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