April 30, 2014

What I'm Into (April 2014 edition)




Whew! April was exhausting in both the best and worst sense of the word. The full weight of our upcoming cross country move is hitting us, as so much is still up in the air. Who needs to know which house and town they will be living in 3 months from now? Right?!? (Um, well at least this girl does. If you're judging from last nights mini freakout that led to mass amounts of ice cream consumption…)

Given the craziness, I didn't blog as much as I wanted to this month, but here's a peek at what I've been up to! (Linking up with Leigh Kramer as usual! Go check the link out for more book, music, etc recommendations.)

Reading: 

This has been a banner month for books! Not just my reading, but each of the boys has moved a step ahead in their reading. My oldest is devouring chapter books so I have started heading to the library multiple times a week to keep up with him. His favorite these days is the Stink series by Megan McDonald. He's about to run out of those though and I'd love more recommendations-what are your favorite chapter books for kids?

In an effort to occupy my youngest while his brother does homework, he and I started working through the Bob Books (my favorite of the early reader sets). Since he learns in a totally different way from his brother I'm researching new reading books to supplement them. Sheila at The Deliberate Reader has a great review of several and I'm leaning towards The Reading Lesson by Michael Levin. I'd love any other recommendations-what early reading tools do you love?


As for my own reading, I'm currently working my way through A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway and The Wrinkle in Time Graphic Novel, illustrated by Hope Larson. I'm reading the Hemingway as a followup to the Paris Wife, since this is Ernest's version of his early years in Paris…his writing is very different from what I remembered (or thought I did) from my last reading of his works. I'm halfway through and can't decide if I love it or hate it.

Waiting in the wings are His Majesty's Hope by Susan Elia McNeal (the 3rd Maggie Hope mystery) and Women Aviators by Karen Bush Gibson, a YA non-fiction book I picked up on a whim during our last library trip. Oh and Rules of Civility too. I'm hosting that for book club soon so I really need to get moving on that :) If you'd like to follow along on what I've been reading, find me on Goodreads!


Apps:

I was traveling for a good part of this month, and I relied heavily on my iPhone on the road. Here are some of my favorite new discoveries:

Poshmark: Essentially a consignment store in an app. You can upload clothes you'd like to sell and search the app for your favorite brands. A huge range in quality and price of course, but with a little due diligence this has been a lifesaver for cleaning out my own closet and snagging a few items I've had my eye on.

Dropbox: You have no idea how much space I just saved on my phone by uploading a bunch of pictures and videos to dropbox. Chasing Cloud 9 has a great post on maximizing it's usefulness.

VSCO Cam: I'm the last person in the world to finally start using this app, but I love all the new filters and photo editing options. The fact that you can then upload pictures straight into Instagram or other apps is a huge plus.





Watching:

COSMOS. This is hands down some of the best television I have seen in years. It's become our mini-date every week and I love the conversation it inspires. Even better? The boys like to watch it as well, and they are asking so many great questions about the world around us. I think it's time for a family trip to the Planetarium!

Silicon Valley on HBO is a satirical look at the industry surrounding new software and app creation. Lots of tongue in cheek humor, excellent writing, and lots of swearing (just as a heads up). We've learned to wait until the majority of the after bedtime pop-ups have settled to watch this and House of Cards. Oops!


Cooking: 

Lots of old favorites, but I'm getting more inspired in the kitchen now that the weather is warming up. The sight of spring fruits and vegetables in the grocery store is such a welcome change. Some fruit crisps will be a good start!


What have you been into this month? 

This post contains affiliate links. 

6 comments:

  1. Fruit crisps are my absolute favorite dessert. (With vanilla ice cream, of course!) I had seen VSCO cam mentioned but I honestly didn't know what it was -- thanks for enlightening this clueless soul! I can't imagine your stress level about your move, mine is just an hour away and we know where we're living and I am stressing out about it!

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  2. That looks like a scrumptious fruit crisp! How cool that you're reading A Wrinkle in Time as a graphic novel! I meant to watch Cosmos, but kept forgetting each week. I'll have to see if I can catch up online. :)

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  3. The graphic novel version was really fun! It's the first one I've read that has been a retelling of a book I was already familiar with…won't be the last though!

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  4. Yes-you can't forget the ice cream! It will be a big summer for both of us. At least we can commiserate when we are both knee deep in boxes :)

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  5. jennifer groeberMay 3, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    Found you at Perfection Pending and I'm so glad I popped over for a visit! Would I like a mug of Harney & Sons Green Chai tea and a bowl of apple crisp, you ask? Why, yes please. I would! ;-)
    I've been reading my kindergartner every book by Andrew Clements I could fine. The morals playing out in the story, the gorgeous writing, and the sense of place all make them addictive. And the protagonist is generally a boy (although often a girl is involved.) Start with Frindle? We also love Junie B Jones even though she's naughty and her english is atrocious (my five-year-olds are crazy about her.) David Macauley illustrated books are also a hit with the six year-old (Cathedral, Pyramid, Mosque and so on.) The writing is way too heavy but the imagery is amazing. Oh, and the Magic Tree House books are a nice way to enter into some conversations about history, art, world cultures and so on (all four of my young ones enjoy these.)
    I just loved the way you put this post together. It really feels like a good conversation with a friend. Well done!

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  6. I like Hemingway's fiction way better than his non-fiction. I had a hard time getting in to A Moveable Feast, which I also read after The Paris Wife. Dropbox has saved my life on more than a few occasions.

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