What I’m Into :: March 2015

March 2015 - baby pic

THAT FACE. You guys! I tried so hard to get a sweet shot of her in the bathtub, but I’m realizing that while my girls are strong and smart and kind and hilarious, they may not technically ever be sweet.

But the POINT IS that Adrienne is – miraculously and suddenly – no longer afraid of the bath. I kind of want to throw one of those ridiculous parties the parents in the diaper commercials do for toddlers who finally flush. But since I was short on confetti and disco lights and party music in the bathroom, I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple dozen shots of this cheesy grin instead!

Another milestone this month is a new word. Annalyn taught Adrienne to say, “Boom!” As in, drop the mic boom. It is as hilarious as you expect.

As I told someone earlier in the week, I had such big plans for March. And yet, here we are at the end of the month already! We were busy, although I’m not sure with what. Well, spring break happened. Or, spring no-break, as this video calls it.

Really, I was a bit nervous about nine long days of all kids, all the time. But we survived! I made the right amount of plans, so we had stuff to do but weren’t crazy busy. And we’re on Parenting Strategy #482 with Annalyn – and it seems to be working. Her behavior, which had morphed from barely tolerable sassy to unacceptable disrespect, has improved greatly. Which made spring break-or-not a whole lot better than anticipated.

Other big events in March included my mom’s tea party, trading cars, and Dr. Seuss week at Annalyn’s school. About five months before finding out I was pregnant with Adrienne, we traded our small SUV for a small car. Because we had accepted that we would be a family of three, that a second pregnancy was not in the cards for us, that a small car would be plenty sufficient. Since last January, the four of us traveling anywhere together has been uncomfortable or humorous – depending on if you were the clowns in the car or simply someone watching us climb out. We’d been talking about trading cars for a few months and after research and budget negotiation, we traded our small car for a different, new-to-us SUV. It’s roomy and kinda, sorta purple (burgundy, but I’m going with “kinda, sorta purple”), and I love it.

What do I love even more than that? Annalyn’s costume for the big finale to Dr. Seuss week. Even though we do not own – nor was I about to go find and buy – a Cat in the Hat hat, Annalyn insisted on dressing up as the Cat on Friday. Of course, I spent all week in Dr. Seuss denial, hoping she’d forget her elaborate costume plans. She did not. So the morning of the big day, I ended up running around the house like a MacGyver mom – and ended up with a super cute costume for her. I mean, I’m not putting it on Pinterest or anything, but when you consider we pulled it together in less than 30 minutes, in a less-than-crafty house? Well, check it out:

March 2015 - Dr Seuss day

I know, I know, it’s mostly her face. After costume construction, we didn’t have time for a real photo shoot. She had a black shirt, leggings and skirt already. We added cat ears from her first Halloween and I cut up a pair of too-small black tights for a tail that I tucked into her pants. Then I grabbed one of her too-small white undershirts and cut an oval. I was in a hurry, so it ended up with very jagged edges. I told her it was on purpose, so it looked like hair. At that point it was too late for fabric glue and, as it turns out, I don’t own a single safety pin. So I threaded a needle real fast (heh. as fast as anyone who rarely sews can thread a needle.) and whip-stitched that puppy on her shirt.

Add some eyeliner whiskers and voila! Kinda, sorta Cat in the Hat!

That’s what I’ve been up to in real life this month. How about you?

Reading March 2015

What I’m Reading:

Ohhhh, right. I’m remembering now where my time went. Granted, I’m trying to recap two months of reading here, but still. It’s possible those uncrossed-off items on my to-do list have lots and lots of books to blame. I like to pretend that I have diverse tastes. Which I do. I do! Since the beginning of the year, I’ve read entire series (or as much of a series as has been published) about medieval knights, a fairy princess, teenage aliens, prep school detectives, and Southern sorcerers. They weren’t ALL young adult books, and they weren’t all Christian fiction. They weren’t ALL paranormal or science fiction or fantasy. See! I’m mixing things up!

Here’s a quick rundown of those series:

  • The Lynburn Legacy trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan – A young adult Gothic romance with an interesting premise. The main character is in love with a boy . . . who is the voice in her head. Unsurprisingly, it’s not schizophrenia; it’s magic! The kind that goes back for generations and takes a small town hostage until a small band of rebels fight back. Sure, sure, that part’s not original, but I liked this series a lot.
  • Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor – A private school, a new girl, a mysterious mystery and a love triangle. Nothing new here – and it wasn’t nearly as good as The Gallagher Girls series – but it was fun and fluffy and exactly what I needed as I worked toward my own book deadline.
  • Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I’m still waiting to read the fifth (and final) book in this series…about teenage aliens. I know, okay? I KNOW. But I actually liked the characters for the most part and the story WAS interesting. But also, when I needed a break from the intense, real emotions of book-writing, adolescent aliens did the trick. Don’t judge me.
  • Age of Faith series by Tamara Leigh – This series (of five books) was recommended to me. And I have really liked other books by this author. But I had a hard time getting past the covers. You guys? They’re super cheesy. And I don’t always love historical fiction, and straight romance isn’t really my thing these days. But as it turns out, these stories about a family of medieval knights and their lady loves, well, they were lovely. Emotional, yes, but with great dialogue and compelling enough plot twists to keep me turning the pages until I reached the end of the series.
  • The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa – I only read the first two books in this series, and I think I’m finished with it. It was a little boring to me, for some reason. Nerdy girl turns out to be a real-life fairy princess and has to save the fairy world. I normally like that sort of thing, but not this time.
  • Trust Me I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer – This book’s description compared it to Ally Carter’s Heist Society series. It did involve con artists, some of the teenage variety. And I did like it. But, apparently, nothing compares to Carter’s books in my mind. Still, I’m looking forward to the next book in this series.
  • Jackaby by William Ritter – I saw this book – a paranormal sort of Sherlock Holmes – on a lot of people’s Must Read lists, so I read it. I liked the main character (not Jackaby), but the book itself was slow and kind of boring to me. I’m pretty sure I won’t be reading any more in this series.

My favorite read of the past couple of months is, by far, The Collectors’ Society by Heather Lyons. It’s a fairy tale retelling plus time travel plus romance plus mystery. It’s a book about books and characters and how real they can become. It’s incredibly creative, and I loved it!

[Side note, aka warning: The second book in the series is written from both a male and female point of view. I like the male character, but I did not like being inside his head during the love scenes. At all. Ick. Definitely more graphic than I like. But everything else about this series was so great that I skimmed those parts and am overlooking it for now (and hoping the third book is more like the first in that regard).]

Also? I may have (definitely) yelled at the author when I realized the second book ends on a cliffhanger and I have no idea when the next book will be published.

Next month, I’m looking forward to finally reading the second Veronica Mars book, Savor by Shauna Niequist, Landline by Rainbow Rowell, Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels, and Women are Scary by Melanie Dale. (Actually, I already started that last one and it’s SO GOOD!)

What I’m Watching:

Oh my WORD. If you all haven’t watched The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, stop what you’re doing and WATCH IT NOW. Or at least watch the news report above, which is part of the series premiere and then serves as the series theme song. And then? JUST TRY not to walk around singing it All The Day Long.

“Un-break-able! They’re alive, dammit! The FEMALES are strong as hell!”

Sorry for the language. Except…I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING AND SINGING AND LAUGHING.

It’s been a big month (couple of months) for TV, actually. Kimmy Schmidt is awesome, obviously – super funny, as I expected, since it’s from Tina Fey (but wasn’t sure since the premise is a little odd). But I also started watching West Wing and Sherlock on Netflix, as well as Allegiance on NBC. Parks and Recreation ended forever (*sob*), and Hindsight ended for now. Oh, and I saw a couple movies, too.

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Sherlock: You guys! Why didn’t you TELL ME? I’m kidding. Everything you said was true. I love it. I’d really like to take a vacation day from Real Life and watch All The Episodes. Alas. No vacation days left, so little by little will have to do. (Plus, I convinced Mark to watch, so now I get to watch the first four episodes again. Bonus!)

West Wing: After finishing the amazing Friday Night Lights, Mark and I did a lot of debating about our next old show to watch together. West Wing was the winner, and we’ve watched a handful of episodes so far. It may take us the next three years to get through the entire series (we only have a couple hours a week), but it will be worth it, I’m sure. So far, it’s GREAT.

Allegiance: “The network version of Americans” – that’s the description that hooked me. I’m too delicate [Fine. Wimpy.] for Americans, so this is perfect for me. Of course, that means this family spy show has already been cancelled. I’m watching the remaining episodes on On Demand and hope-hope-hoping they wrap it up before it ends for good.

Parks & Rec: I love it. The finale was beautiful. That’s all I can say without crying. *sniff*

Hindsight: I’ve told you before how much I love this 90s-nostalgic, time-traveling show on VH1. It ended strong and has already been renewed for another season. Which is a relief because that strong ending was not just an amazing musical montage and meltdown; it was also a cliffhanger.

And then, the movies. We rented “Kill the Messenger,” a based-on-a-true-story, political/journalism movie. We usually love this kind of movie, but it was really boring and we quit watching halfway through. Sad.

Not sad was Jupiter Ascending. Smitty had promised to take me to see it when I turned in my manuscript, since she knows and tolerates my penchant for science fiction. Or Channing Tatum. I mean, science fiction. (She doesn’t really have to tolerate that part, though. She’s kind of a geek like me.) Anyway. We went to see it. Smitty said, “That was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen!” Nah. She forgot that we watched A Winter’s Tale a few months ago. Jupiter Ascending was silly, cheesy, unoriginal and – honestly? – a lot of fun. So there.

What I’m Listening to:

Whew! It seems I was INTO a lot over the past couple of months! How about you?

What were YOU into in March?

I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for What I’m Into. It’s one of my favorite places to get book, TV and movie recommendations!

15+ Princess Books for Smart, Strong Girls

Princess Books for Smart, Strong Girls

“I save the kingdom. As usual.”

 
Though it’s not hard to find boring and/or sexist fairy tales with helpless princesses in the children’s book section, these days a parent can also find plenty of not-so-typical princess stories that teach kids about kindness, bravery, individuality and common sense. Helping others and being true to yourself, it turns out, are just as appealing to children as fancy dresses and true love’s kiss. And sometimes, when it’s done right, you can even get both in one story.

(Although, really, it’s not like my seven-year-old needs any kind of kissing in her stories. I’d rather her books be kiss-free for now, actually.)

I’ve written about books that feature smart and spunky princesses before, but I decided it was time for a second edition. Also, I’ve noticed it’s harder to find clean books about strong girls for kids like my daughter – a seven-year-old who reads chapter books well above her age level.

As I shared earlier this week, we’re not really in a frilly, pastel pink phase in our house right now. However, as I also mentioned, even if we’re not in a princess state of mind, a little glitter and a twirly dress are always fun. So, because I’ve had all that girly stuff on my mind recently, because I have two daughters who love Sofia the First and Abby Cadabby as much as Handy Manny and PAW Patrol, because Disney’s latest version of Cinderella was released this week…

I’ve found nearly 20 princess books for you and your girls that feature unusual, unexpected and not-so-typical heroines and storylines. And because I have both a very little girl and a girl who’s not so little anymore, I looked for – and found! – both picture books and chapter books.

15+ Princess Books for Smart, Strong Girls

  • Part-time Princess by Deborah Underwood: Out of all the picture books, this was by far my favorite! The quote at the beginning of the post comes from this part-time princess who is a normal girl by day and a brave, heroic, diplomatic, adventurous princess by night.
  • The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews: This is the first book of several featuring a girl who sparkles so much inside that she just knows (JUST KNOWS) she’s a princess. My favorite line from the Valentine’s Day book in the series is, “Fairy princesses are at their sparkly best making people smile.”
  • Princess Peepers by Pam Calvert: As a fellow four-eyes, I love this story! A little princess loves her glasses…until she goes to princess school and the mean princesses make fun of her. Long story short (although it’s a picture book, so the story is not actually long), she realizes in the end that wearing glasses is a great part of who she is.
  • The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane Auch: Princess Paulina’s dad gave up his kingdom to start a business, and she is tired of the peasant life. In an effort to get back to princessing, Paulina enters a Bachelorette-style contest to win the hand of a prince. Though she’s much too practical to get eliminated in early rounds, her sassy mouth gets her in trouble with the queen. Lucky for Paulina, she accidentally invents pizza, refuses the “prize” of the prince, and opens her own restaurant.
  • Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson: Neighbors to that shallow, wimpy, whiny Ella, Edna is much better. That’s the moral of this story, really. Honestly the tone is a bit rude (if you happen to have sparkly previews of the new Cinderella on the mind), but it’s funny and teaches readers to be themselves.
  • A Gold Star for Zog by Julia Donaldson: This seems like a story about dragons (which led me to consider writing a separate post about dragon books…), but it’s really the story of a princess who wants to be a doctor and not a princess. In the end, she even trains her would-be rescuer prince to be a doctor, too!

15+ Princess Books for Smart, Strong Girls

  • Princess Hyacinth : {The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated} by Florence Parry Heide: Hyacinth is a normal princess, except…she floats. This unusual book has fun typography, but also keeps Hyacinth in her royal underwear more than I liked. I mean, in public. She was in her underwear in public. So that’s weird, but it’s still a cute story.
  • Don’t Kiss the Frog! : Princess Stories with Attitude by Fiona Waters: This collection of princess stories wasn’t my favorite – and included more find-the-prince motivation than I like for my princesses, but it also featured stories about being yourself and using common sense. And I like those things.
  • Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater: Princess Amanita has a garden full of dangerous plants, and that suits her just fine. She likes dangerous things – until she’s lost in the woods. A strange bouquet of noses (nope, not roses) leads her to safety and, yes, a prince. It’s a quirky little story, but I like that. Weird is wonderful and all that, you know?
  • The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale: This easy chapter book is about another crime-fighting (or, at least, monster-fighting) princess who is so brave she even inspires Goat Boy to train to fight monsters, too. Very fun book!
  • Princess Joy’s Birthday Blessing (The Princess Parables) by Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson: My cousin gave Annalyn one of The Princess Parables books, and we love it. This series of books is about a family of princesses (sisters) and each book tells a biblical parable about one of them. If you are looking for fun books that lead your kids back to God, this is definitely a series to add to your collection.
  • Princess Patty Meets Her Match by Charise Mericle Harper: Okay, so this IS a book about a princess looking for her prince, but this particular princess is full of common sense. And the illustrations are very cute. But when she finally meets her prince (I know. Insert eye roll here.), the books tells us that they “grew up and lived thoughtfully, generously, compassionately, and helpfully ever after.” Plus, it goes on to tell us, “the prince was a great cook.” Heh.

I also read about The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier, but I wasn’t able to check it out from the library yet. So I can’t give you a real review other than to tell you it’s described as a catalog of quirky, lesser-known princesses full of wit and beautiful illustrations. I’m looking forward to reading it with Annalyn soon!

5 Chapter Books About Princesses for Smart, Strong Girls

If your kids are a bit past the picture book phase, don’t despair! Smart princess chapter books DO exist! However, I’ll caution you to read descriptions to find the recommended reading age, as well as parent reviews. I use Common Sense Media and Shelfari for that. Several of these books are the first in a series – or the author has other similar fairy tale books. For now, Annalyn is reading The Wide-Awake Princess (a Christmas present we gave her!), but we’ll wait a year or two for the others.

Anyway, here are the chapter books for not-so-typical princesses I found!

What’s your favorite princess story or book?

Song Lyrics Gone Awry – and Grace

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I’m a word girl. Which means, when it comes to music, I’m a lyrics girl.

Which means some of the most played songs on the radio right now are really getting on my nerves.

Don’t get me wrong. My love of pop music has not diminished, and the latest songs by T-Swift and Baby Brother Jonas are catchy as all get out. And while I don’t let Annalyn listen to these particular tunes, it’s possible I might have cranked them up a time or two after dropping her off at school.

I’m not upset with Taylor Swift for abandoning country music – or even for having the nerve (The Nerve!) to sing a song that isn’t nearly as appropriate for my seven-year-old as “Shake It Off.” I was, admittedly, completely weirded out by Nick Jonas singing about perfuming his chest – but it turns out he actually says he’s PUFFING his chest. So, that’s better (MUCH) – and I wasn’t really upset about that anyway.

No, what I find annoying is Nick and Taylor’s misunderstanding of love – and the way they sing about it in their catchy songs.

In his song, Jealous, Nick Jonas says it’s his “right to be hellish,” because he still gets jealous. Um. His RIGHT to be hellish? Oh, but wait. It’s okay because later he says, “There’s no one else for you ‘c​ause you know I get excited, yeah, when you get jealous, too.”

Okay, I see now. This is equal opportunity crazytown.

Then there’s Taylor Swift’s new song, Blank Space. Though the tune is catchy and the video is gorgeous, the lyrics are…well…ridiculous. She tells the story of a romance beginning and then “going down in flames” when she gets drunk on jealousy, finishing up with the conclusion that, “Boys only want love if it’s torture.”

Um, right.

Actually, the lyrics to the Taylor Swift song are lovely and clever, but their message is awful. And, while I’m pretty sure this song is actually tongue in cheek, on the surface it’s no different than dozens of other songs getting stuck in my head every day.

Artists – or at least their songwriters – seem to think that love is a game and true love is akin to insanity. So we should all just go crazy! Do what it takes to win! Look out for yourself and make sure you protect your rights and your feel-good and get-what-you-want!

Bah. This is ridiculous and get off my lawn, you crazy kids!

I know. I sound like a grumpy old man. But am I the only one who’s noticed the weirdo lyrics in songs lately?

(Don’t even get me started on the vulgar and purely nasty lyrics that should not ever be played between the hours of whenever children wake up to whenever they go to bed. Because wow. Way to use subtlety and clever turns of phrase to get your point across, people . . . except, oh, right, you DIDN’T.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go listen to the oldies station.

(Where they are giving away tickets to a Def Leppard concert, because apparently Def Leppard is “oldies” now. Def Leppard of the infamous, Pour Some Sugar On Me. With those lyrics, yeah, yeah, I know. Hush.)

*********************

Wait, though! Not all lyrics are bad!!! I’m actually over at (in)courage today, talking about a lesson I learned by listening to the lyrics of a totally different song.

I think most of us are pretty unlovable in our own ways. That’s what makes love so incredible, such a miracle. What all my thinking and singing and song lyric rewriting has taught me is that pointing out others’ flaws doesn’t just hurt them and withhold affection from them, it robs me of the gift of grace.

Read the rest at (in)courage, and let’s talk about grace.

{Photo source}

WFMW: Done is Better than Perfect

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I had big plans. A clever story, coordinated outfits, a comprehensive mailing list.
I was going to send Christmas cards, and they were going to be awesome.

But then we didn’t get around to having pictures taken.
And the holidays felt so busy, busier than normal, with a baby.
Or maybe I just wasn’t organized, on top of it, SOMETHING.

So the holidays – and their cards – came and went, and I decided one day to just order New Year’s cards instead. The cheap kind, because that Christmas budget was long gone. Anyway, it was still very early in the new year, so it made perfect sense! (And gave me a little time to round up addresses for friends and family who have moved. Although not everyone, so apologies to those of you who have yet to receive any holiday greetings from the Carvers.)

Of course, then I had to go to the post office to buy stamps. And stuff the cards. And address the envelopes.

I didn’t look forward to addressing the envelopes one bit, so I waited. Because I really wanted to include a letter. After all, like I mentioned, I had such a clever story for it!

But my printer is broken.

So I didn’t start writing the letter. Because I didn’t have a way to print it. And thinking about the cost of printing it at the copy store, on top of the cost of the cards and the stamps, just irritated me. Not to mention I’d have to fold and stuff those letters.

I didn’t write a letter. But one day last week, as I glanced at the box holding my stuffed and stamped but not addressed holiday cards – and I snapped. I sat down that night and began addressing them. I finished them the following day, did not pass go and went straight to the post office to mail them.

Because you know what? DONE is better than perfect or clever or color-coordinated (but undone) any day.

(Also? Getting that little box off my desk is better than perfect, too!)

What can you do (imperfectly) today?

 
Works for Me Wednesday :: Giving Up on Perfect

It’s time for Works for Me Wednesday. I’m looking forward to your tips, tricks, ideas and inspiration! If this is your first time linking up with WFMW here, PLEASE read the guidelines I shared in this post. Highlights include linking your specific post, not the front page of your blog, and making sure to include a link back to this site in your WFMW. Thank you!!

Photo source

What I’m Into :: January 2015

Birthday cake

Awww, look at that baby! That baby who’s not a baby anymore! We didn’t do a big blowout birthday party this year, but we did have cake. And, really, is there anything more disgusting than an adorable baby-not-baby smeared with frosting?

In the real-life category of what I’ve been into this past month, it’s mostly writing. In addition to that, though, I’ve done the typical January things a person does. You know, budgeting and planning and looking at lots of blog posts about Whole 30 meal plans. I paid off a couple pesky bills last night and we have a date night planned for Saturday, so two of those three are going well.

I also inherited Works for Me Wednesday from Kristen at We Are THAT Family, which has been super fun so far! Despite the pressure of a book deadline and nearly three weeks solid of someone in my house being sick at all times, it’s been a decent month.

How was YOUR January? What were YOU into?

Reading January 2015

What I’m Reading:

On the day the next Veronica Mars book was released not one, but two of my friends sent messages – with photos! – bragging about already having their copies. So rude. Of course, I realized later that day that I’d also pre-ordered the book and it appeared on my Kindle as well. I haven’t read it yet, though. I can’t very well stop reading, just because I have a lot to do. But I can save this one for a reward once I have a manuscript ready to turn in. (Maybe.) (Self restraint is not my strength, especially when it comes to not reading things that are within reach on my Kindle.)

I also haven’t read If I Stay yet, and I suspect the library is not too happy that I haven’t made this [overdue] book a priority! Don’t tell the library, but here are the books I’ve read instead:

  • My True Love Gave to Me: This is an anthology of short stories. They’re all young adult, and they’re all holiday-themed. So if that’s not your thing, move along. If it is, though (if you, say, love watching Christmas movies on ABC Family…), get this one. I didn’t love all the stories, but the majority were great.
  • All Fall Down by Ally Carter: As a huge fan of Carter’s other series (Gallagher Girls and Heist Society), I’ve been looking forward to this one. Sadly, I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t mind the darker tone to this first in a new YA series, and the unreliable narrator didn’t bug me too much either. I guess it just kind of plodded and I wasn’t all that shocked by part of the “shocking” ending. Plus I now have to wait forever for the next book.
  • The Accident by Chris Pavone: I liked Expats, Pavone’s first novel, a lot. And this one certainly kept me turning pages, but I wouldn’t say I loved it. I think my biggest problem with it was the timeline. The story doesn’t flow chronologically, though the main story takes place in just one day. There are a ton of flashbacks, but they’re not labeled, so it’s hard to follow. I’m all for books that challenge my brain (Lord knows I need something more challenging than Trivia Crack!), but this seemed unnecessarily confusing. It did stick with me, though. Reading about a controversial manuscript that people are [spoiler, I guess] killed over made me even more paranoid about the huge stack of papers I’ve been working with for my book!
  • The Lost Key by Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison: This was the second book in Coulter’s new FBI series, and I really liked it. It’s nothing exciting, more like comfort food. But interesting comfort food with fun characters and decent suspense.

Last thing – if you haven’t read A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Sophie Hudson (BooMama), get it NOW. It’s FREE on the Kindle!

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What I’m Watching:

Well, I just finished watching Galavant. Eight episodes of goofy musical satire, complete with John Stamos (Uncle Jesse jousting!), Weird Al (monks with jazz hands!) and Ricky Gervais (meh.) – and, though I enjoyed it thoroughly, I think eight episodes were enough. Still, it was fun while it lasted! (And rumors say it might be back, so there’s that, too)

I’ve also been enjoying the return of Hart of Dixie and Parks & Recreation. Parks and Rec is definitely in its last season (sniff, sniff), and I suspect Hart of Dixie is, too. So I’m savoring every single minute we have left. (Similar to how many of you felt about Parenthood, I suspect. My condolences.)

Finally (unless you want a more thorough rundown of January television – and in that case, check out this post on mid-season television!), I am LOVING Hindsight on VH1.

I know, who would think that a TV show on VH1 would be good?! But it IS. So good. It’s about a woman around 40 who, on the eve of her second wedding, travels back to the eve of her first wedding – in 1995. If you have any warm feelings for 90s nostalgia, this is for you. If you love time travel or women who adore their friends, this is for you. If you typically like the sort of things I like, this is for you.

Seriously, it’s my favorite right now. (And it’s on VH1 at 8:00 pm CST on Wednesdays.)

Okay, one last thing I’m watching. So, you know that last year I watched American Idol from start to finish, mostly while feeding a newborn and often in the middle of the night. Well, like you do in this internet age, I also read recaps and reviews of each episode and ended up loving a certain video recap more than the show itself.

More than the show, you ask? Yes. And how do I know? Well, because I’m not watching Idol this year but I have still managed to watch the first three episodes of Reality Check, the TV Line video where Michael Slezak (a TV Line writer) and Melinda Doolittle (an Idol contestant from way back when) talk through the highs and lows of the show. They are hilarious. And smart. But mostly just funny. And, I’m not proud of this, I’m probably going to keep watching even though I have no plans to watch the actual reality show they discuss!

What I’m Listening To:

Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars and Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran are pretty much on repeat around here. Totally different types of song (though both obviously pop), but I love them both so much! Man. Both those guys are crazy talented. I was hoping to find a picture of the two of them together, but apparently they don’t hang. Weird.

Oh, wait. Looks like Bruno shared his stage with Ed in St. Louis about a year and a half ago, where he let Ed sing The A Team during his (Bruno’s) concert. Well, still not what I was hoping for, but if you want to watch, here it is. (The A Team, I’ll admit, is not my favorite Ed Sheeran song, though it is so pretty for a tune about prostitution and drugs…)

And probably my favorite video of the month was this cute interview with Dax Shepherd on Ellen. (HT For Every Mom, which has The Best videos and articles for moms!)

So, tell me: What were YOU into this month?

This post will be linked up to Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into.