What I’m into (June 2016 edition)

What I’m into (June 2016 edition)

As always, linking up with my friend Leigh Kramer to share what I’m into.

Summer is in full swing around here. That looks like baseball, the pool, and summer reading.

Baseball is almost over, glory hallelujah. It’s been plenty hot to swim, for better or worse. And my kids are weirdly obsessed with the local summer reading programs, especially my 6-year-old Silas.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 6.54.11 AM

He’s been sounding out words pretty well for months now, but just about a month ago everything clicked for him and now he’s a reader. (Always such a fun transition to watch!) He’s super motivated by the summer reading lists: he already finished our library’s program, he’s working on a cover-all for our local bookstore’s book bingo, and he’s begging me to take him to Barnes & Noble or Half Price Books to see what their summer reading programs are like.

I’m not quite sure what to think of this fascination, but I will say this: he’s reading a ton, and I’m pretty happy about that.

brussels sprouts

Healthy stuff

Will and I are on a Whole30-ish kick right now. (I wrote about our past Whole30 experiences here.) We started a little over a month ago, and just like every other time we’ve done this, the anticipation was the worst part.

This month I took a few group fitness classes for the first time in years. I left something important off my June what I learned list: I took my first spin class, and suddenly the premise of a favorite novel—woman passes out in spin class, falls off her bike, thunks her head and forgets ten years of her life—seems a LOT more plausible. It was tough!

(That novel is What Alice Forgot, it’s by Liane Moriarty, and I’m hoping you’ll come see the two of us in September at Read Savannah! This month I’ve been working on the finer points of the plan for our weekend together.)

I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve also been really into yoga. It’s only just dawning on me how incredibly strong you have to be to pull off some of these moves! I feel like I’ve been missing the point for years, but I’m newly inspired to get into it more and am having fun with it. Painful fun, sometimes, but fun all the same. (If you have any favorite resources, I’d love to hear them!)


The podcast

I’m not sure if you noticed, but after 28 (!!) episodes I feel like I have my sea legs. The past few episodes have been longer, more in-depth, more freewheeling. I’m enjoying the extra conversation time; I hope you’re enjoying the finished product.

I especially loved this week’s episode: I chatted with a reader who came to me with a request I really resonated with: she’s an indie bookstore owner who misses reading at whim, is craving depth, and wants help finding great books that aren’t relentlessly new, new, new. Listen to it right here.

What I’m watching

My relationship with tv right now looks like this: I really want to start a show, but I think it would be a really bad idea to start a show. (I love a good series, but it’s bad for productivity.)

My feelings about shows for the whole family aren’t nearly so complicated. With four kids ages 6-13, we struggle finding programs that everyone likes, but you all turned me on to a good one. It’s called A Chef’s Life, and season one follows a chef who moves back home from NYC to open a restaurant in eastern North Carolina. It’s mellow without being boring, and the episodes are only about 25 minutes long, which makes it perfect for sleepy summer afternoons with kids exhausted from the heat, or sneaking in an episode between dinner and bedtime.

I hope you had a lovely June. What have YOU been into lately? 

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47 comments | Comment


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  1. Katherine says:

    I have been really into trying new food this June! I was lucky enough to go on a road trip in France for two weeks and I had so much fun researching all the ‘traditional dishes’ of the areas I was in! It really added a little extra to the trip and helped make hard decisions easier, because I had basically planned my meals in advance!

  2. Jaime says:

    You can print Half Price’s summer book club forms from their site. My kids and I love it– for each month (June and July) that they read at least 15 minutes a day, they earn $5 to shop with in store. Free books are always awesome!

  3. Colleen says:

    Related to one of your last posts, but I’d love to know more about your handwriting class. Is it something you found online? I’ve been wanting to work on my handwriting for a while now!

  4. Teresa B says:

    Yoga with Adriene on youtube is my favorite morning yoga routine. She has a huge variety of lengths and difficulties to try and does a great job of cutting through the yoga woo-woo that can sometimes be a barrier for beginners.

  5. Donna says:

    A couple of recommendations:
    -The Yoga Studio App from Gaiam, $3.99 but no annoying ads or pop-ups once you download. They have a lot of already made classes with different focuses and time lengths or you can customize your own.
    -Since you’re enjoying A Chef’s Life I also recommend Chef’s Table which is streaming on Netflix. The episodes are an hour but there’s only a couple of them and they are so beautifully filmed and fascinating (they follow one renowned chef per episode and you quickly realize what true artists they are).

    • Anne says:

      I’ve heard so many good things about Chef’s Table that I couldn’t stop confusing the two names when we started watching! I still haven’t actually seen an episode of Chef’s Table yet but I intend to.

  6. Chrissie says:

    Yoga with Adriene on YouTube is an amazing resource for growing your yoga practice. She’s got an extensive range of free videos, from basic poses to full-length routines. I love her as a teacher, too – she’s all about meeting yourself where you’re at and finding what feels good, so no judgment or stress! She’s become a near-daily part of my own home practice, and I highly recommend checking her out.

  7. Mamey says:

    I was just introduced to your blog, so I’m a newbie! Luv it! I couldn’t agree more with starting a new series. I too love them, but there is just too much to do in the garden. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Mary Kate says:

    Yes yes yes to yoga! I discovered it a few years ago and it’s the only exercise I actually enjoy. (Besides the elliptical machine, but that’s only because I can read while exercising on it.) Yoga has been amazing in that I can actually feel myself getting stronger and more flexible the more I do it–especially important for a writer like me who sits at a computer for far longer than is healthy. I recommend going to yoga classes until you get the hang of it–there’s a lot you can do wrong which you need a physical teacher to correct, but once you’ve got your form down, it’s an easy exercise to do with videos at home (or even freestyle it all by yourself).

    And if you need a series to get hooked on and haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend Orange is the New Black. I just finished the fourth season (on Netflix) and it blew me away.

  9. Anki says:

    The Adult Summer Reading program at my public library kicked off on June 21st. This is the fifth year they have done it, and it is something I have looked forward to every one of those years. I have never really *needed* incentives to read, but there is just something fun about having a summer reading program. Each year they have a theme, and this year’s theme is Exercise Your Mind. Most of the prizes center around exercise (physical or mental), and the presentations/events the library has planned to go along with the program all tie in to the theme on some level. I went to a presentation on Mindfulness as part of the program, and it was very helpful.

  10. Am trying a morning fitness boot camp while I’m home on summer vacation (I’m a teacher). It’s kind of brutal to make it there by 6, but there’s a lovely virtuous feeling to get back home at 7:15 and have already exercised for the day!

    Plus I’m showing my two boys (seven and nine) a lot of the classic musicals. I am determined that they won’t just have a respect for sports and robotics, they’ll also have a love of Rodgers & Hammerstein and the other composers. So far “The Music Man” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” have been the biggest hits (though they loved the fight scene in “Seven Brides” more than they loved the dancing, alas).

  11. JA Andrews says:

    My kids are crazy about our library reading program, too! Which is lovely.

    I LOVE that moment when your sounder-outer becomes a reader. Makes me so deeply happy!

    I’m with you on the TV series issues. We’ve started The Last Ship, which is only available through Netflix DVD so we don’t get too many episodes at once. It’s keeping us at a good pace instead of binging.

    Love these posts!

  12. Laura H says:

    I love both spinning and yoga! Most people don’t appreciate how hard yoga actually is – it’s not just standing around and stretching! I’ve heard a lot about Liane Moriarty’s books but still haven’t read any myself. Must get stuck in 🙂

  13. Sarah says:

    Hi Anne, I just started listening to your podcast this morning and am really looking forward to hearing more! I listened to episode 27 and was so excited to hear you suggest Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. One of my favorite authors; her books are addicting! Thanks for always having wonderful book suggestions and intriguing blog posts 🙂
    -Sarah from Good Morning Glow: https://goodmorningglow.com/

  14. SoCalLynn says:

    I love A Chef’s Life! I am so bummed there wasn’t time to visit her restaurant when I was in NC last time.

  15. Jamie says:

    I have a ridiculously similar list: Cupcake Wars on Netflix with the fam, reading, swimming, yoga, baseball (I’m actually really, really liking it…however when we sat down for a proper dinner together last night, something in me exhaled and my husband thanked me several times for making it. Three or four nights a week around dinner time is a lot of baseball.).

    Also extended family time and photography. June has had so much good in it. Love when you share your lists!

  16. Shannon says:

    LOVE Yoga and found a great little at home bootcamp I’m doing. It’s been a while since I’ve done yoga and I love being back into it. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLui6Eyny-Uzx5BRNB2_Kvycrn5h9OsaHC or her site has more: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

    Thanks for the new show to check out, I found episodes starting season 1 episode 1 through recent still on PBS for free. I guess I know what I’ll be doing while cooking dinner tonight. 🙂

  17. Julie says:

    Joining the chorus of yoga with Adrienne lovers! I am working through her 30 days of yoga series. Really great. Each day is a new little sequence. Highly recommend! Love her voice and her approach. It is finally summer here in New England. We are enjoying porch dinners (and I love a quiet 15 minutes on the porch early in the am with my coffee and a book on my phone before work) First swim at the shore today. I try to keep swimming things in the car for an impromptu walk on the beach and swim on the way home from long days working at the hospital. A total treat.

  18. Jamie says:

    Two yoga favorites: Sara Beth Yoga and Yoga with Adrienne. Both have extensive collections of free videos on their YouTube sites. I’m totally digging yoga right now too, after five months of pilates I was craving something new but still familiar enough to not shock my routine.

  19. Marisa says:

    I love A Chef’s Life. I love watching behind the scenes stories of restaurants, and it’s nice that this show doesn’t feature an angry cursing man like Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

  20. Sarah says:

    On Hulu, we have been watching Outback House. My 8 year old son, and I started it, but my teens seem to like it, too. It’s a reality series, but no “voting off the island” is involved. It is a group of people who have to live and work together on a sheep ranch in the Australian Outback, circa 1861.

      • Sarah says:

        Well, I just went to watch it and it’s gone! I guess it was dropped at the start of July. I’m very disappointed.

        • Anne says:

          We had the same shock at my house last night! We switched over to the PBS app. This is the first time I’ve successfully watched a show using it! It appears all seasons are there (although that varies by region, unfortunately).

  21. Spin class! My first time I didn’t cool down properly and when I got off the bike I fell over. I didn’t quite pass out, but it’s SO HARD. I admire you for hanging in there. Your podcast is getting me in better shape (I play it while I run around my neighborhood). Just started the Outlander series and reading it made a cross-country flight with kids so much more fun. I’m thinking of reading the rest of the series this summer, with a break for new Harry Potter and Louise Penny, of course. In TV land, I just started Blacklist and I’m hooked on James Spader. Thanks for all the great reading resources!! I’m going to look up that yoga resource today.

    • Anne says:

      Hahaha! I’m glad YOU didn’t bump your head and forget ten years of your life! Your summer reading sounds terrific. My husband and I were just wondering out loud when James Spader would be back for fall…

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