Wow, I don't think I have done one of the recommendation posts in forever, but it's about September so I best get on it. Life has been difficult. To be honest, I am in the whole isolating stage of mild depression and anxiety. That doesn't mean that there aren't wonderful things going on in my life, but it does mean that my mental health is still a bit precarious and I have a lot of new things to adjust to (2 kids, husband working long hours, book edits due, new loud and exciting apartment complex). But it is raining outside and my daughter is at her kindergarten orientation, so I thought it would be good to look back at a few of the things I have been into in the past few months.
Are you guys on the sparkling water band-wagon? You should be. These little cans are so addicting it is scary, and have helped me through some mighty-humid summer days and nights. I recommend the lime, coconut, or grapefruit flavors, but if you live in a fancy part of town you might be able to find pineapple/strawberry!
OK stop what you are doing right now and listen to Bear Carver. This has been my jam this summer. It is gorgeous, haunting, and all the work of a dude I went to Bible College with. I think he left our school and went back to his home in the south to hang out with his family and get married and make this beautiful music and I just really appreciate that. I am not selling this well, but trust me. Trust me. Go listen to it here or buy it on itunes!
The Grantchester Mystery novels
Ok so you all know that I love the Grantchester show, but the novels are just as good. Some of the storylines are similar and some are completely new, and it actually deals with a lot more theology/thoughts about God and suffering and all that stuff. Just a completely lovely read for those that might suffer from mild anxiety and depression.
The New Yorker
For 12 glorious weeks I received the New Yorker (plus, I got a tote!). If you can get past the anxiety of not being able to read each issue before the next one comes, you should sign up for one of their many subscription deals and cancel right before you have to pay the big bucks! You can read like a king and queen about all of the hilarious foibles and problems of the artistic uppercrust. It really is illuminating stuff. And those weird little drawings!
He has a new book out and it is super poetic and has some very hard truths and I think you should read it and then we can discuss it.
Running Even Though You Are Overweight
Who cares if you are slow and bounce around a lot more than everyone around you? Running is a great way to explore new neighborhoods, soak in some vitamin D, work out writing conundrums, and is a form of exercise that is available for everyone! It's so great for mental health, conventional-beauty-standards-in-fitness be damned!
I got super into Matt Kearney at the tail-end of my bedrest, so now I will always equate his newest album with the birth of my son. So I heart it, a lot. I normally do not care for this kind of slow pop, but it really did me good this summer. So go listen!
I mean, swaddles. They are amazing.
I bought some of those big boxed collections of records from a thrift store--one that was "old country" (think Johnny Cash) and one that was "The Fabulous 40s". I just pick one, turn it on, and go about my day. It's like a mixed tape from decades ago, just for me!
Re-thinking the Ministry of Funfetti (only for a few days)
All this baby-having and almost-dying and moving across the country and staying in 4 different houses in one week alone led to some poor eating habits and to a seriously unhappy stomach. So for the past few days I have been doing that horrible no-sugar, no-carbs thing that everyone on Pinterest is always yammering about and I have to say: I do feel better (although coming off of sugar makes me meaner than a wildcat, as it turns out). I expect to go back to my normal eating habits soon, just try not to be so heavy on the refined stuff (I will save that for special occasions).
Good gracious, Oregon is glorious. I know I have turned into my mom because all I want for a personal day would be to hike alone in the quiet woods.
This is super weird, but one of the things I fixated on as we were waiting on confirmation for housing was that I wanted to fill my new-to-me-apartment with green plants. Succulents are obviously super cute and hip right now, but I manage to kill even those. I am trying it out again, however, and we will see how this goes. Air quality issues are always present in urban areas (more kids have asthma, etc) and a single aloe vera plant in a room works better than an air purifier. Isn't that wild?
Apartment Therapy (Small Spaces)
Another coping mechanism I had in the midst of selling-everything-and-moving-across-the-country was thinking about how I wanted to set up and decorate an 800sq ft space. The website Apartment Therapy has all of these awesome small apartment hacks, and I just loved looking at the design ideas and storage hacks. I highly recommend it.
Coloring Books for Adults
Yes, this is totally something I was into before it became a sensation. So calming! except when I have to share my markers with my daughter.
Aaaand, that's it. Not a lot of new content for me. Survival mode means I have been re-watching Parks and Rec and Doctor Who, re-reading Harry Potter and the book of Isaiah, and just trying to keep us all alive, fed and clothed. As always, I would love to hear what you recommend!