What I’m Into :: November 2013

Fall Family Pics

These are a few outtakes from our family photo session in our backyard. With a tripod and a timer. Yep. We’ll be putting selfies on our Christmas card this year.

After a month of daily posts, I wasn’t up for a What I’m Into post at the end of October – and I missed it! I love looking back at all the fun things I watched, read, listened to and cooked throughout the month. And even better, I love hearing what YOU have been up to and into all month, too!

This past month was a rough one, full of various illnesses and discomforts, plumbing issues and plain old stress. But that wasn’t all November brought. The trees turned beautiful colors, I was reminded often to be thankful for my many blessings, and I discovered a burst of energy that had escaped me for the first two-thirds of my pregnancy. Can’t complain about that!

Here’s what else I was into in November.


What I’m Watching: Yeah, yeah, I know. That picture is from the first movie, not Catching Fire. And Gale is hardly even in Catching Fire. I KNOW. And yeah, Peeta was more interesting in this one (although he’s still pint-sized…nothing can change that). I’m just, well, still Team Gale.

Anyway, I saw Catching Fire with some friends on opening weekend. It was just as great – and intense! – as the book. And, if you read the book a while ago (like I did) and maybe forgot (like I did) that it ends abruptly in a cliffhanger? Well, just prepare yourself.

That’s the only new movie I saw last month, but Mark and I did rent The Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. I read that it was criticized as a two-hour Google commercial, which I suppose it is. But it was still pretty funny – especially if you enjoy Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson essentially playing the same characters they play in every single movie. (Which I do.)

My favorite night of television this fall, by the way, has become Tuesday. Hands down, the comedy block of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, New Girl and The Mindy Project is the most enjoyable 90 minutes of my TV-watching week! It seems like a lot of my other favorite shows are losing my interest. I’m not sure if that’s another weird by-product of pregnancy or the quality of TV this fall, but either way, I’m glad to have my Tuesday nights!

November Books

What I’m Reading: In an effort to deal with the stress (and, FINE, to procrastinate just a teeny tiny bit), I’ve burned through lots o’fluff reading in the past several weeks. I have read others books, too, though! Here’s a short list of both:

  • A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman – I’ve been taking my time with this one. Emily’s writing is beautiful and challenging and, I’m pretty sure, written just for me. No matter what you do, Emily says you’re an artist created by God – and her book will inspire you to unleash the art you were meant to live, too. [The Bloom book club on (in)courage just finished doing a study of this book, so if you're reading it, I'd highly suggest checking out that series to see interviews with Emily about each chapter.]
  • How to Blog for Profit without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup – I bought this ebook when it was on sale for 99 cents, but I definitely would have paid full price. Even though I’ve been blogging for nearly six years, this book was full of great tips and plenty of reminders. Since I read it on my Kindle, I highlighted everything I wanted to remember and then went back through it afterwards and made a list of things I really need to do. It’s a long list – and the few things I’ve checked off have already made a difference. If you blog, get this book.
  • The Final Cut by Catherine Coulter – I love Coulter’s FBI series, and this was the first book in a spin-off series featuring a James Bond type who works with the FBI. I won’t lie. It was silly, it was fluffy, it wasn’t all that original. But did I like it? Um, yeah.
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – Well, now, it wouldn’t be a list of books without one more YA dystopian trilogy, would it? This series is written in a weird, uber-emotional, stream of consciousness voice. That should be annoying. And maybe it is. But I couldn’t stop reading. I have no explanation, but I’m anxious for the third book to come out soon!

I’ve read a few other books. But, believe it or not, they’re so ridiculous and without literary merit that I cannot even bear to tell you about them. So…moving on…


What I’m Listening to: Well, as of yesterday, I’m listening to Christmas music. And while I’ve been working on a big project, I’ve listened pretty much exclusively to my hymns station on Pandora. But the song I’ve heard – BY FAR – more than any other this past month? Roar, by Katy Perry – as sung by my music-loving daughter. Roaring. Over and over and over.

Worse songs exist. And it’s not like I’m opposed to pop music. (As if!) But wow, you guys – OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

sour cream pound cake

What I’m Eating & Cooking: Well, you know about the pound cake. But I’ve also browned – and frozen – 15 pounds of hamburger (which may or may not have have clogged up the line leading to my dishwasher, which may or may not have been broken for the past week. BUT I DIGRESS.) and made a batch of banana bread muffins. And for Thanksgiving, I made some reallllly good green beans that will definitely happen again. Soon.

So, basically, I’ve been eating really well. Both in healthy way during that week I thought I might have gestational diabetes and in the I-made-some-delicious-stuff way. (Guess which way is my favorite…)

And to wrap this post up, here’s a fun video from (of course) Jimmy Fallon, who turned pop songs into holiday songs with the help of Rashida Jones. Funny. Stuff.

This post will be linked up with my friend Leigh’s monthly carnival. What were YOU into this month?


  1. But Gale is so irascible! Whereas Peeta may not be as ruggedly handsome, but has character and integrity. Gale would kill for Katniss, but Peeta would die for her. I’m totally team Peeta. I liked what they did with Catching Fire, and I’m interested to see what they do with Mockingjay, although I wish they’d kept it at one movie.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Hmmm…interesting point about kill for her vs. die for her. I don’t know. I mean, it’s not Gale’s FAULT that he didn’t get picked to be in the games. And while Katniss is gone, he takes care of her family. And he’s more than 4 feet tall. :) Anyway, I AGREE – two movies out of Mockingjay is annoying!

  2. I gave up on New Girl. Again. It’s official. I’ve kind of given up on Mindy Project but I keep wandering back to it, hoping it’ll grow on me again because I love Mindy Kaling. I’m reading Million Little Ways right now, too, and also taking it slowly. So much goodness there. And now I’m dying of curiosity over those books without literary merit…

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      New Girl – I’ll keep watching, mainly because I’ve never made it appointment TV or something I focus on. It’s more good to have on while I’m doing something else. The Mindy Project – I love this one still. Especially since they’ve ramped up the Mindy/Danny stuff. Did you SEE his dance in the Christmas episode??? ADORABLE.

      As for the books…SIGH. Okay, fine. It was the Whiskey series by Liliana Hart. Very similar to the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, but more – um – graphic. I wasn’t expecting that at all and was a bit annoyed. Still, I am apparently a sucker for that genre, whatever it’s called. Clumsy Girl Detective? I don’t know. They aren’t good. Don’t be like me and read them. ;) I also read the Rose Gardner series (or first three books) by Denise Grover Swank. Same general genre but much cleaner. Also not great. But apparently that doesn’t stop me…

  3. Hi Mary…I’m hopping over from Leigh’s blog and nodding yes, yes, and yes again to all of your “What I’m Intos”. First of all, I’ve been showing too many people that Jimmy Fallon video from Thanksgiving. He’s a comedic genius! I’m sooooooo excited that I get to see him LIVE this Wednesday in Seattle.

    Also, I am so Team Gale. Have you heard The Lumineers’ song on the soundtrack, “Gale’s Song”? It will make you cry.

    We are big fans of New Girl in our house, too. Happy December! :)

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Oh fun! How was seeing Jimmy Fallon live??? (And no, I haven’t heard Gale’s Song – I’ll have to look it up!)

  4. Gah. I totally forgot to include Catching Fire and Frozen onto my What I’m Into list. Both were terrific.

    New Girl this season is flat-out terrible. After catching up on the previous seasons on Netflix I was so excited to start watching it live but it’s not good. We keep watching because we love the characters so much and keep hoping it gets better.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      I don’t know that I’d say flat-out terrible, but I have not enjoyed New Girl nearly as much as I did last year. I’ll keep watching, though – maybe it will get better??

  5. Haha, I’m just back from a fun-packed Thanksgiving roadtrip, and I’m having a hard time getting back to reality, which is why this light post was perfect for me. ESP that Fallon parody!

    You and your daughter are adorable!

  6. I’m so with you on Tuesday Nights – I love ALL of those shows! I feel like a lot of the older shows I’ve been watching for awhile are starting to run out of steam and I won’t be surprised if a lot of them decide to end after a season or two. All good things must come to an end, right?

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Yes, sadly, shows can’t stay awesome – or interesting – forever. Even my beloved NCIS (I know. I’m a dork.) isn’t holding my attention like it used to!

  7. I love the outtakes. And I love when a book feels like it is written just for you. I am planning on picking up A Million Little Ways at the beginning of the year. I am really looking forward to it. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, Amy

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Merry Christmas! And enjoy the book! (I noticed it’s on sale for $9.99 at Dayspring if you don’t have a copy yet!)

  8. I’m loving reading A Million Little Ways, too. So much truth and goodness and it’s really inspiring.

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