What I’m into (October 2015 edition).

What I’m into (October 2015 edition).

As always, I’m joining my friend Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately.

I love October, and ours was wonderful, if a bit frantic at times. (I love to travel, but I’m not great at mitigating the havoc it wreaks on our ordinary lives.)

We picked apples and hiked through the leaves and spent a zillion hours at the ballpark. (All 4 kids played for the first time and we’re calling it a big success.)

Will and I took the kids to New York City and it was amazing. We loved how much they loved the city.

And we got to meet new babies. (Swoon.)  We went to NYC with my cousin, her husband, and their adorable (and delightfully chubby) eight-month-old baby, who we met for the first time. Back home, I’m an aunt again. So many babies, I love it.

Youve Got Mail bookstore

What I’m watching

As a family, we’ve watched You’ve Got Mail at least a half dozen times in the last six weeks.

We watched it twice before our trip to New York to get the kids in the mood (especially because we were booked to stay on the Upper West Side). The kids watched it on the way to NYC, and on the way home. (This was extra fun after we visited Books of Wonder in New York.) And then we watched it one more time when we got home.

(This has caused some problems: my 5-year-old is now saying if you don’t get your ASS up here in TWO SHAKES when he’s in a hurry.)

Finding good movies is hard for my kids. (It’s an HSP problem.) But they love a good family movie night. Please tell me: do you have any recommendations for kids who love You’ve Got Mail?


Will and I are still hooked on The Blacklist.

This is the first tv we’ve watched since Parenthood ended in January, and it’s been messing with our schedules. (It’s very hard to get up at 6:00 a.m. if you watch two episodes after the kids go to bed at 9:00 p.m.!) My strategy for not letting it take over our life was to blitz it as fast as possible (despite the fact that I know a better way).

We stayed up way too late Tuesday night to finish off season two. But then on Wednesday we discovered we could catch up on season 3 on nbc.com. (Heads up: the video quality isn’t so great.)

I’m hoping we’ll be all caught up by tonight, and then we’ll have to make a horrible decision: save up a bunch of episodes to watch at once, or watch week-by-week, maybe on actual tv? In the Netflix era, I’m not crazy about either of these options. (Would love to hear your tips/advice/personal preferences in comments.)

kitchen progress 10.30

In the kitchen

I took this photo yesterday. It’s progressing slowly (we had some major, time-consuming appliance drama), but it’s progressing.

It’s a little rough around the edges and poorly lit, but it’s functional, and I’ve definitely been enjoying using it, making all those foods we haven’t seen since March—pot roast, soup, pumpkin bread.

I’m also burning the clove and cardamom candles from ePantry nonstop. They’re my new favorite—even Will thinks they smell amazing. (That is high praise, my friends.) If you adore cloves (as I do) and take advantage of the great deal ePantry is running right now on Mrs. Meyer’s seasonal scents, add one to your cart. (They’re from the Grove Collective.)

We’re also trying something new this year. In years past, I set up my therapy light at my desk and flipped it on every morning. This month I tried setting it up in the kitchen, and giving us all a blast of daylight during breakfast. My hope is that everyone will be cheerier and sleep better in the coming months.

library haul 10.29.15

What I’m reading

All my library holds came in at the same time, so this is what my nightstand looks like now.

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl. I am loving this. The food looks great, but the essays that accompany each recipe are my favorite part. It’s easy to sit down with this one and read it like a novel.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Several friends with great taste have recommended this lately.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’ve been looking forward to this one but wasn’t sure I wanted to buy it, so I was thrilled to find it on my library’s special 7-day checkout shelf yesterday.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this important book.

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined by Scott Kaufman. I requested this after hearing him speak about the messy minds of creative people last month.

On the blog

Most popular: 4 strategies I originally dismissed as too “out there” that have significantly helped me (and my loved ones) manage anxiety.

Best comments: Defining “good.” Loved your examples so much.

For when you’re feeling overwhelmed: Finding white spaced amidst a surfeit of treasures.

Most likely to resonate: 8 paradoxes of creative people.

I’d love to hear what YOU were into in October.  

more posts you might enjoy

69 comments | Comment


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  1. Suzanne says:

    Since March you have been kitchenless? I bet it feels amazing to regain any sense of culinary normalcy. Yay for that. Thank you for the book suggestions. As awaits I’m intrigued. I’ve been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast. The episodes are short and enjoyable.

  2. Wini says:

    Have you seen The Rocketeer? It might be old enough that you haven’t…Also, the website rottentomatoes is great for finding out if a movie is worth your time, or for finding new movies.

  3. As a fellow Blacklist fan (my husband and I watched all of S1 in a single holiday weekend!), I have loved our weekly ritual of watching it on TV. There’s something kind of cool about watching a show that’s not instantly available at your fingertips. We were up to date on the show since Christmas, and when it returned Winter 15, we started watching it on TV and it has been so much fun.

  4. Sarah Scott says:

    Ooh! I hope to get my hands on Big Magic as well. Also I feel your renovation pains. Our house will be on a reno hiatus once our upstairs is finished… but eventually our ensuite and the kitchen will need to be redone. Such is the life of buying a fixer upper. Lovely to see what your into.

  5. Cheri Smith says:

    Have you seen While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock? It is quirky and funny. I’m trying to remember if there are any scenes that would not be good for children…You’ve Got Mail is a favorite of ours too!

  6. Shannan says:

    Loved these What I’m Into Posts. I have gotten the neatest ideas from them. Thanks for doing them.
    As far as week-by-week viewing or binge viewing, it tends to depend on the show for me. There is something special about watching a show week to week: Survivor, Amazing Race, Big Bang fall into that category. But I can’t do that for shows like the Blacklist. Must wait for the entire season to come out and watch that way. My Hubby prefers this method!
    Thanks for all that you do.

  7. Katie says:

    We are on the exact same schedule of the Blacklist 🙂 Right after we finished season 2 I was preparing myself for the “long break” between when seasons come out on Netflix….then we discovered we could catch up to real time. I’m not sure if I am happy about that or not!?

  8. Kirsten says:

    Re: Movies, my husband (a self confessed Anglo-phile) adores the recent Paddington Bear movie. My 4 year old enjoys it, and has been requesting marmalade sandwiches in her lunchbox. We all enjoyed the Nanny McPhee movies, as well, but my kids are younger, and we’re still into a lot of the cartoons. Meg Ryan has been is a lot of other cute rom-coms…Sleepless in Seattle, Kate & Leopold, IQ. Now that the holidays are coming up, how about Elf?

  9. Debbie Snyder says:

    We are so KINDRED!!!! I LOVE You’ve Got Mail, my daughter and I watch it so often, we practically know the dialog by heart!!! Secondly, I LOVE THE BLACKLIST!!! My favorite series!!! I love RED, and I want so much to meet him (Mr. Spader) one day. He is like, THE BEST ACTOR, of all of TV actors. THE BEST!!!

  10. liz n. says:

    We do previous-season binge watching right before season premieres of favorite shows and then settle into the weekly routine of watching a new episode of the new season online, at our own pace, and when we can watch together. Often, we don’t get to the newest episodes of “The Walking Dead,” “Supernatural,” or “Arrow” until a day or three after they’ve aired. (Not that I don’t manage to fit entire series binges into the time between seasons. Netflix is my pal.)

    Getting my husband to sit down with me to watch ANYTHING that even hints of documentary/period piece/BBC (i.e., not purely escapist) is like pulling teeth, so I find time to watch what he calls “brain-growing tv” on my own.

    As for books, rainy, blustery days like today remind me of London, so I’m re-visiting “The Sign of Four” and have just finished another re-read, “The Forgotten 500.” I’ve also replaced a falling-apart copy of “The Last Shogun: The Life of Tokugawa Yoshinobu,” so that one’s up next.

  11. Grace says:

    Doesn’t that always seem to be the way with library books – them coming in all that the same time like that? I just finished reading Furiously Happy which was amazing! I loved the message, and as per typical Jenny Lawson, it had me laughing out loud right from the beginning. I was actually embarrassed while reading at the library because I was laughing so loudly and so often. Big Magic just came in for me as well from the library, so I’m going to be starting that today. Can’t wait to dig in, and now I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it too!

  12. Jessica says:

    Love Blacklist, it’s our Thursday night date. As far as family movies: my kids loved the old school movie Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang and I recommend From Time to Time (which is on Netflix but does involve ghosts so not sure how your five year old would react; they are nice ghosts though).

  13. I read BIG MAGIC on my flight to and from Chicago last week. Worth it for the Persistence and Truth sections alone!

    One big take away for me is to start using the word “create” instead of “write” when I’m finding my way into a new project. I have unfortunately let “write” secretly mean “produce,” which is really unfair to myself and the process when I’m in discovery mode.

    Looking forward to hearing what you think.

    • Anne says:

      Ohhh. That’s very interesting on “write” vs “create.” I might adapt that myself.

      I thought the State of Wonder story made the whole thing worth it, and I’m not even halfway through yet!

      • This is what I love about books (and readers) — they never are the same for any two people. I’d have to say that section was the least interesting to me. I’m not deeply interested in where ideas come from or what happens if one slips away, though the similarities between the two plots are striking!

  14. Jeannie says:

    “Finding good movies is hard for my kids, explain why.” Um, sorry, I can’t. 😀

    I thought of a couple that are a nice combo of fun & romance: “Nanny McPhee” and the new “Cinderella.” Also, has your family ever seen “The Tale of Desperaux”? A beautiful, exciting, un-ironic animated movie with no pop-culture references!

  15. Jennice says:

    My family is heavy into Impractical Jokers. We went to see them live in September and it was great. We also love Agents of SHIELD, The Cathrbonaro Ef fect, and Billy in the Street. As far as reading goes, my daughter loves The Bad Kitty series by Nick Bruel as well as Fancy Nancy series. Im reading like 6 books now. Song if Solomon by Toni Morrison, The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman, Afflicted by Laurel K. Hamilton, The Group by Mary McCarthy, and Never Let Me Go by Kashuro…the last name escapes me right now.

  16. Lee Ann says:

    I was curious about the “explain why” bit, too. 🙂

    Movie recommendations – if you haven’t seen “Return to Me,” it’s lovely. A young woman receives a heart transplant, then meets the donor’s husband and…if I say any more, I’ll spoil it. Humor, romance, an outstanding supporting cast, and nothing objectionable that I can remember. There is a car crash toward the beginning, and I think you see some blood on a character, but nothing overly gory or graphic.

  17. Sarah R says:

    Once again, you’ve exploded my TBR list. It’s ironic that you’ve asked for TV recommendations because I don’t think my husband and I have watched a show sans kids ever since I discovered your blog! 🙂

    I literally LOLed at your son’s “quote.” Do your kids like The Sandlot? My 6 year old loves it. It’s nothing like You’ve Got Mail but a cute adventure/baseball story.

  18. Lynn says:

    I enthusiastically second the recommendations for “While You Were Sleeping” (my #2 all-time favorite movie – I can practically quote the entire film) 🙂 and “Return to Me” – my mama and I love that movie!

    Someone mentioned holiday movies, which made me think of the live-action Eloise movies (based on the Kay Thompson books). Admittedly, I can’t stand the books, but “Eloise at the Plaza” and “Eloise at Christmastime” are great movies; aimed at kids, but my whole family watches them. The Christmas one is the best and can be watched alone, but “Plaza” is technically the first.

  19. Karleen says:

    I remember as a kid my brother and I wore out the VHS for Sister Act because we watched it so often. It’s SO feel-good, I think it’s a movie everyone can enjoy. I would recommend skipping the first scene; I remember it not being appropriate for kiddos.

  20. Ashley says:

    This is the prefect time of year to watch Meet Me in St. Louis and it’s family friendly. If they like musicals that’s an entire genre of classic movies to explore!

  21. Kaatherine says:

    I always recommend “What’s Up Doc?” with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal and “Singing in the Rain”. My nieces loved those movies and still quote them daily 20 years later!

  22. Hannah says:

    You’ve Got Mail is actually based on an old black and white film called The Shop Around the Corner. Bonus: It stars Jimmy Stewart. Double Bonus: It’s a perfect movie to watch during the holiday season.

  23. Amy says:

    Hi Anne-
    Speaking of Netflix, I wanted to alert you to a series that I discovered 5 days ago, fell in love with 5 days ago, and am almost done with already. So sad.
    The show is “Madam Secretary,” and due to not having regular tv, I had never heard of it before. But it is AMAZING. I encourage you to check it out. It is a perfect show for watching with a spouse– I’m dying to know what you think! 🙂

  24. Alex says:

    We watched a lot of classic movies when I was a kid. Parent Trap, Trouble with Angels, Mary Poppins, the like. We also dig in to the 80s and early 90s for some good ones – Hopscotch, Dave, Ghostbusters. There were a few years that some of the Mary-Kate and Ashley movies were on constant rotation, too – It Takes Too is hilarious!

  25. Lindsey Back says:

    I picked up on one of your past posts concerning highly sensitive people. I wonder whether anyone else has the problem that I do as a sensitive character with regards to reading. I find I completely loose myself in the character and the plot, but the trouble comes with endings that are less than happy it is like my sensitivity is in overload siding with the character in the book etc. It takes me ages to bring myself back from the experience of the ending. I tend to choose books on the basis of what the ending might be like which is less than satisfactory as I miss a heap of otherwise wonderful books. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this, perhaps it is just me and I need to work on disassociating myself from the book more.

    • Anne says:

      That is definitely a real issue for many HSPs. (Some HSPs are perfectly happy finding out spoilers in advance, and if you are one of them, that might make it easier to select books?)

      • Lindsey Back says:

        Thank Anne it is really comforting to know that and I might try sneaking a peek at the ending, it is a good idea….thank you

  26. Heather says:

    Have you seen the movie that You’ve Got Mail was based off of? It’s called The Shop Around the Corner, starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan. I love this movie : )

  27. Paula says:

    Oh! I love You’ve Got Mail! It’s when I fell in love with Tom Hanks! I prefer to save up my shows and binge watch them all in one day, but I don’t have kids so that’s probably easier for me to do than it would be for you. 🙂

  28. Danielle says:

    “Just Mercy” is on my list too!

    Have your kids seen “Wild Hearts Can’t be Broken”?

    We binged on Broadchurch, ohmygoodness! We just were like, “we’ve got to get through this as fast as possible!” It had amazing acting, a fantastic plot, fabulous cinematography, and was oh so gut-wrenching, which I like. I love how it depicted stages of grief and the family featured became stronger through the heart-break. I can’t rave about Broadchurch enough.

    • Anne says:

      I LOVED Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken when I was a kid! I haven’t thought about that movie in a long time. 🙂

      Glad to hear about Broadchurch. I think. That sounds dangerous. (We have stuff to get done!)

  29. Melissa says:

    Well, our family finally sat down and watched “You’ve Got Mail.” I can’t believe I have never seen it. Enjoyed it very much! A few other people have suggested one of our family’s favorites: “Return to Me.” We do fast forward a couple of short scenes, but it is delightful! Wonderful soundtrack too!

  30. Erin in CA says:

    I am fascinated by your love for You’ve Got Mail. I’ve seen the movie a few times over the years, and I just can never get over the closing of Meg Ryan’s bookstore. I feel like my nine-year-old would be devastated as well. (OTOH, high five for finding a movie that ALL your kids like. That is a tough egg to crack!)

  31. Ginger says:

    We enacted a new rule a few years ago that we don’t start a show until it’s over, as in, series finale has aired. This allows us to binge watch, knowing the end point we’re committing to. You miss out a little on the camaraderie of watching when everyone else is (but does anyone really watch “live” now anyways?), but you gain a lot of time back by only going with the shows that are really worth it. I find people are still totally willing to talk about their favorite shows years later anyway.

    We recently “watched” Parenhood with a couple of other couples, just at our own homes at our own times, but stayed vaguely in the same season with each other. It was fun texting each other and talking about the show as we saw an episode.

    Some of my favorite movies that I *think* would be ok for children and HSPs are: Hugo, The Artist, Little Manhattan (a very under celebrated, sweet coming of age love story starring Josh Hutcherson before he was Josh Hutcherson… I tell everyone about this one and no one has ever heard of it, but everyone loves it), Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, and of course, the Sound of Music. I’ve also recently loved Inside Out by Pixar!

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