Category Archives: What I’m Into

What I’m Into / March 2015

March, I hardly knew ye.

I spent the first two weeks of March mostly at home, large and pregnant, and I’ve spent the last two weeks of March mostly at home, snuggling and feeding and changing Elijah.

That’s right, folks, we had a baby.  !!!!!

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Elijah Graham Wastell was born Sunday, March 15. He is, in a word, adorable.

IMG_7863 IMG_7812Also exhausting and needy and very infant-y, but oh, so beautiful.  We just love him.

I’ll spare you 800 more pictures here and just send you over to my Instagram feed: @annawastell where I typically end up posting several times a day.  There’s just so much cuteness to share.

Elijah arrived with a whirlwind fitting for his name.  Read the whole birth story here.

What I’m reading & What I’m watching
Reading is proving more difficult with a newborn than I had imagined.  It seems overly luxurious to sit down with only a book in my hands.  Watching TV feels far more multi-tasking friendly, so I should probably switch to audiobooks so I don’t become the girl who watches 12 hours of Netflix a day.  On that note, oh hey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I think I love you.  Such a fun new show, and just the perfect length for nursing E.

Little things I’m loving: new mommy edition


Food brought by others. AMEN.  Lasagna, kolaches, groceries, whatever. Food = LOVE.


Baby K’Tan.  This crazy wrap is saving our lives.  It’s easy to wear, and E loves hanging out in it.  Look mom, two hands!

IMG_8678IMG_8235Spring!  And taking walks with Elijah.  I can’t imagine trying to do these first few weeks at home in the winter.  I would go crazy, I think.


Maybe in April I’ll have ore interesting thoughts about life, but for now, I’m just going to go back to snuggling this guy and praying he sleeps well tonight.  Wish us luck.


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

What I’m Into / February 2015

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This February feels like it just won’t quit.  We haven’t had much of the surprisingly nice periods of sunshine and warm weather that usually drop by for a day or two in February. I’m DONE with winter, and thankful for my little belly insulator that keeps me warmer than usual.  But come on, Spring.  You can do this.

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I am very into nesting.  I wrote a whole post about it, in fact.  These past few weeks have seen even more closets, cupboards and secret nooks & crannies be conquered by the nesting bug.  I have quite a load to go to Goodwill, and I am TOTALLY into seeing all that stuff leave my house.

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And, I am totally into Amazon Prime bringing me packages.  Gifts from loved ones, sure, but also all the things I have ordered and returned and ordered and returned and ordered.  I’ve had no less than 13 diaper bags at home to try out, and let’s not even talk about the adventure of finding just the right nursing bra.  Thank you, Amazon Prime, for free shipping.  Amen.

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We scored some free tickets to a Creighton game, and while the Jays lost, I’m totally into that guy, and it was so fun to spend a night out with him and some of our friends.  He’s just the cutest.

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Above: 34 weeks and 37 weeks and the belly that just won’t quit and hello, sleepless nights.  Ugh.  That was a rude surprise around 35 weeks.  But overall, pregnancy things are going well. The baby looks great, I’m hanging in there, and in March, I’ll be all into our newborn.  L1 will be on the outside, y’all.  Yikes!

What I’m reading & What I’m watching
I have been getting a little reading done – see what I read this past month here.  I’ve been watching Drop Dead Diva while I clean out closets, and keeping up with Grey’s and Nashville as per usual.  I’m glad my shows are back.  And Scandal!  We’re still loving Liv and the Gladiators.  I followed all the awards shows on Twitter and catching up on clips later, which is much more preferred to actually watching live, I’ve found.

Adventures in Piggery


I braved the smell and went into one last nursery barn at the beginning of the month. Let’s not even talk about the size of coveralls I had to wear to accommodate the bump.  Hilarity ensued.


The little pigs were not particularly cooperative in having their pictures taken; in fact, I’m pretty sure I caught that guy in the middle mid-sneeze.  Bless you, little fella.

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We also took one last 1,600+ mile mega road trip down to Southern Kansas and then into Texas.  Our last trip as a 2-family of road warriors.  Chad and I have driven a lot of miles together, and seen a lot of the country (and a lot of pigs).  It’s been a great season of our lives, and I’m so thankful for the time we’ve had together.  I’m grateful for the wide open skies, the bit of color we saw in southern Kansas before the snow blew again, and the man who rides (drives) beside me.


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

What I’m Into / January 2015

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We kicked off the new year with good friends, great wine (one of us) and an epic game of Settlers of Catan.  We even managed to make it up past midnight.  Felt pretty good for being then-29-weeks pregnant and in my 30s.

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In January, I’m into asking for help.  I’m decidedly NOT into my long-lasting pregnancy-induced back pain that makes me walk like an 80-year old, but I AM very much into my top-notch husband, who is gracious and patient with my big and small requests for help and makes me laugh and feel beautiful. Yes, please.

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I’m [still, always] working on embracing the mess and chaos of life, and choosing to find grace in the messy moments and messy closets.  However, I’m also nesting big time and working on those messy closets when I can find the time and energy.


These girls, some of the very best, threw a shower for me/L1.  It was an overwhelmingly beautiful day, filled with family and dear friends.  I felt so loved.


Also could not believe these girls made the drive to Omaha for the shower. They (plus Courtney) are by far the best thing to come out of my evangelical childhood church & youth group experience.  The miles between us are many and the moments spent together are few, but WOW, I love these girls.


L1 will be into bacon (and learning), natch.


I, meanwhile, am into macarons.  And all the other snacks, really.  I may or may not have gained kind of a lot of pregnancy weight lately, but let’s not talk about it.


Tradeshow season at work took us to Minneapolis for a couple of days, where I squeezed in lunch with this girl.  Her laugh.  I can’t even.  I seriously have some of the best women in my life.

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AND, I got to see these little post-bath wet-head chickens in January.  It was kind of a great month, honestly, if a little nuts with the traveling. There was a quick photoless trip to Winnipeg somewhere in there, too.

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There is not much better than spending time with my seester.

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I’m totally into long shirts these days.  I have no time for maternity clothes or formerly long shirts that don’t cover the belly.  Stripes aren’t my best look, but it’s long, and I’ll take it.

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Despite the lovely weather that we started off the month with, Old Man Winter is back for a visit on the last day of January.

What I’m reading & what I’m watching
I did manage a bit of reading this past month, and have more underway.  It feels good to get back into the pages.  See what I’ve read lately here.  All my shows are still on winter hiatus, so I’ve been watching cheesy movies and episodes of Chopped on Netflix. I’m super excited about Gilmore Girls and Friends, but I’m saving them for long labor or long nights up with the baby.  I figure I could use some good TV friends during those moments.  Just 7-ish weeks left!


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

What I’m Into / November 2014


There is no better way to kick off the holidays than with a Red Cup on November 1.


Despite my pregnancy-induced caffeine restrictions (not total elimination, hallelujah!), I got to cross off a Dad-Daughter Bucket List item in experiencing pour-over coffee together.  We’re so fancy, I know.  It was darn good coffee.


My beloved autumn colors stuck around for a few days before cold fell hard and unwelcome.  Omaha had a few weeks of January weather in November and trust, I am NOT into that.

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Team Wastell celebrated our 3rd anniversary on November 4 – voting day.  Or, our votaversary, as we celebrated this year.  I claimed words of gratitude, community and grace for our lives.  (Anniversary #2 and Anniversary #1)


I found a picture of my sister at 22 weeks, and was so excited to wear a nearly-matching tank top when I hit 22 weeks so I could take matchy-matchy sister belly pictures.  So fun!!

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My mom graciously agreed to make a baby quilt for L1, so we picked out gender-neutral colors for the blanket.  The back will be light grey with dark grey polka dots.  Soft things are my favorite.


We celebrated Thanksgiving in Kansas with my parents, in what was a much needed few days of relaxation and someone-else-cooking.  Bless.  We’re excited to see some of Chad’s family later this week and even more later in the month.

What I’m reading & what I’m watching
I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy brain or just being busy, but I went from my past average of reading 4-5 books a month to finishing none in November.  Zero! I don’t remember the last time I read zero books.  I even hosted book club (and chose the book) and didn’t manage to finish the darn thing.  I’m still caught up with Grey’s and Nashville, and we’re waiting for a quiet evening to catch up on Scandal. We saw Interstellar in the theater after good reviews from several Facebook friends, and were terribly disappointed.  I generally feel pretty easy to please when it comes to movies, but I didn’t really enjoy Interstellar at all.  Can I have my $12 back?

Little things I’m loving
Sans photos: Mandarins, every scarf ever, Christmas music played too early, friends showing up, caramel brulee lattes, new lip gloss, board games, and the end of November.  It was a long month.  The beginning of Advent is upon us – rend the heavens and come down.


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.


What I’m Into / October 2014

Procrastination.  I’m into procrastination.  Hello, one week late with this post.

leavesAnd autumn colors.  I am definitely into autumn colors.  Leaves have been quite spectacular this year, and their colors and change make my soul sing.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 10.44.00 AMWe went to Sterling for my 10-year class reunion. It was strange and wonderful and surreal being back in the small-town tiny-college atmosphere.  And Chad thinks Northwestern University was small. Ha.  I’ve been working hard to mend some neglected friendships from that season, and it was so sweet to be able to see some dear faces in person.


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We visited Stanford where the weather was suspiciously nice and the GSB spouse/significant other/family support surprisingly great and it may have just moved to the top of our grad school wish list.  I decided that I don’t really like palm trees, but I do like knowing my own light.


We took Mom & Dad on a little family adventure weekend to Chicago, where the leaves were pretty and the pizza deep, but the weather was less than desirable.  Oh hey, snow on October 31.

Week 17The bump is getting bigger.  Weeks 16-18ish above.

19 weeks

I’m 21 weeks now (would have been 20 weeks if I posted on time) and you know what I’m not loving?  Random people who tell me I’m not showing enough.  People are the worst.  Why do we feel the need to tell others unhelpful things?  The above photos were taken one day about 19 weeks – sucking in and pushing my belly out.  What’s the right size for you, random lady? Boo.  More pregnancy updates coming on the blog soon.

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s reads included This is Where I Leave You, Defending Jacob, Olive Kitteridge and Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking.

What I’m watching
Is it time to watch Christmas movies on Netflix yet?  I’m keeping up with Grey’s, Nashville and Scandal, and shamelessly still enjoying Selfie, A-Z and Manhattan Love Story.

Little things I’m loving


I have been craving Baskin Robbins ice cream (specifically Jamoca Almond Fudge and Daiquiri Ice) since finding out I was pregnant. Every little BR Kiosk in the airport gets scoured for my favorite flavors, but so far I’ve been disappointed.  But OH! The joy! Just down the street from our hotel in California was a 31 Flavors.  I was thrilled.  BR Day was also the day that I felt the baby kick for the first time, but I’ve got to say, at the time, the ice cream was more exciting.IMG_5966

Dunkin Donuts also just opened up in our neighborhood.  Whoo!

IMG_6069Also in our neighborhood: more beautiful autumn leaves.  Can’t stop.  No shame.

Adventures in Piggery

October was National Pork Month.  Everyone celebrate!


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

What I’m Into / September 2014

What I’m not into? August, evidently, as I completely missed last month’s linkup.  August, you were filled with first trimester nausea and naps and not wanting to do a darn thing other than lay around.  I did go to a conference in Austin with my best friend from high school, and got to meet two internet friends in real life over brunch, which I am definitely into.


There’s nothing I love more than a big, blue sky.  I’m such a flatlander.  Any more trees than this and I feel claustrophobic.  Give me space, give me room.  There’s enough for all of us.

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My sister and her littles came to visit our hometown, and it was the most delightful time of laughter and memories and eating Mom’s familiar food (three cheers for dinner that someone else made, amiright?!) and sistering.  It was just the best.

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Husker football is in full swing and I rocked Go Big Red lipstick just because.

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Before we announced my pregnancy, Chad and I had family photos taken in our home.  I did contact the photographer about scheduling a shoot before I was even pregnant, but we didn’t actually get it scheduled until I was a few months along.  We have loved this season of life – being a 2-family, living in Omaha, living in our house especially, and I’m so glad we decided to celebrate that.

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We visited our dear Hutterite friends in Manitoba and enjoyed absolutely gorgeous weather.  Canada is not always quite so kind to us, but WOW, I love autumn.

15.5 bump

On the baby front, I’m 16 weeks now and starting to show a bit of a bump. This week I’m wearing all my favorite shirts one last time before they don’t fit anymore.  I reorganized my closet with some new maternity shirts in rainbow fashion of course, and realized I don’t own any yellow.  No Y in my Roy G Biv, sorry.  My 14 week pregnancy update is here, if you’re so inclined.

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s reads included Anna and the French Kiss, The Expats and The Accident.  I also managed to read a bazillion books in August, which you can find here.

What I’m watching
Fall TV is back! Fall TV is back!  I’m back with Grey’s and Scandal, plus I’m giving Madame Secretary and How to Get Away with Murder a chance for a few more weeks.  Selfie and A-to-Z will be guilty pleasure laundry-folding accompaniments until they get cancelled, I’m afraid.

Around the web
I’ve been working hard not to get sucked into the inevitable swarm of mommy-guilt-inducing world of blogs and articles about cloth diapering, organic baby food making, no-chemical cleaning, whatevering.

Instead, I’ve been reading recipes for salted-caramel-popcorn-chocolate-chip cookies, because growing a baby is hard work, y’all and mama wants cookies.  Also, soup.  I love autumn.

Little things I’m loving, sans photos
Girls night. Our new neighbor. Saturday wandering the outlet mall with a good friend.  Chili & Cinnamon rolls.  Happy Hour with the bestie. Pants with elastic.  Hallelujah.

Adventures in Piggery
Gro Master moved into its new offices, so it’s been packing and unpacking and reorganizing and ugh I don’t like moving. The end.Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 3.34.11 PM


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

What I’m Into / July 2014

A summer night is like a perfection of thought.  — Wallace StevensIMG_4560

I realized that I’m becoming like my Grandmother, starting these posts each month with a quote.  A few words that share the beauty of the month, the season.  There are worse things. She does like the summertime.  


I wrapped up my 33 Before 33 list, including the things I did not do.  But! All the things that I did do that were not on my list, for which I got zero credit.  I feel cheated.

I mean, in July alone, I cleaned out our linen closet, I tried cooking bok choy (successfully), and we had a roommate.   I’m giving myself extra points.

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My dad found this #tbt gem at my grandmother’s house and basically won the internet that week.  Tiny Dad is just so cute.  


I did a week-long hydration challenge and subsequently used the bathroom all. the. time.  


Chad and I went to Pasadena for Max & Kate’s wedding (sadly missing Matt & Jenya’s celebration) and took pictures in a parking garage.  Because love.

IMG_4928Chad is exploring Business School, so we went to a Preview Day for a program at Northwestern, and naturally had to enjoy beignets and Bloodys at Dixie Kitchen.  Lake Effect makes for a nice July morning, I’ll say.  

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s reads included The Romanov Prophecy, Bound, Between Shades of Gray, Wedding Night, The Fault in Our Stars, and Department of Speculation.

What I’m watching
I was obsessed with The Face on the Milk Carton as a teen, and MTV’s Finding Carter fills a special place in my heart.  I don’t regularly watch the full show, but I can’t get enough of watching Kacy Catanzaro absolutely dominate this American Ninja Warrior course.  And, we finally watched Season 2 House of Cards and loved it, natch.  

Around the web
Consider digging into some of the Faith Feminism synchroblogs here.

Little things I’m loving

Summertime fresh fruit is the best.  Especially when Whole Foods has samples.


My friend Jenipher creates these amazing, encouraging doodles (and sells adorable prints and cards in her Etsy shop).  I loved this one especially.  Emojis are the best.  


Jazz on the Green on a beautiful evening AND Ranae in town.  The greatest.


Oh – I’m NOT loving this.  Starbucks, what is this straw?  Quit messing around.

Adventures in Piggery


The tassels on sweet corn are my favorite.  They pop out all ethusiastically Pfft Pfft Pfft!!  Plus, popcorn is super good.

IMG_4903 IMG_4753I mostly saw barn exteriors this month. This is what #RealPigFarming looks like from the outside.


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.

What I’m Into / June 2014

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. — Al Bernstein


Welcome back to puffy cloud season, everyone!


First things first.  Let’s take a look back at June 1983 – the month that Chad turned 1 and I turned 2.  Yep, I’m the older woman; we’re the same age for 24 days each year.  But seriously, if that’s not the cutest thing on the internet right now, well, maybe just don’t tell me about it.  Happy birthday, Team Wastell!

We spent the majority of the month on the road, but still managed to squeeze in plenty of fun.


Namely, with these little nutters.  We spent a few days at my sister’s tacked on to the beginning of a business trip to the east coast, and I LOVED getting lots of snuggles and silly moments with my nieces.  They’re 4.5 and 2.5 and full of energy and giggles and wanting all the snacks and treats.  Sisters are the best.


We hosted some super fun Airbnb guests, including one couple who bought steaks at a local butcher, but were tired at the end of their day, so Chad the Rockstar Griller Man offered to grill their ribeyes for them.  We’re pretty much great hosts.  Come visit!



Speaking of beef, we were in Chicago over the weekend, so we popped up to Evanston for Al’s famous roast beef with blue cheese.  So good.  And Al’s accepts Euros, so hey.




We took a stroll along the lake and took a picture in which I actually look slightly tan, but do not be fooled.  Just good lighting and a little Instagram.

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s reads included A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Someday Someday Maybe, The Slap, Admission, and Burial Rites.

What I’m watching
Grey’s & Nashville finales, CHECK.  Game of Thrones finale, CHECK.  Bad summer movies and all the funny YouTube videos, CHECK.

Around the web

Check out #DinnerPlaybook on Twitter and Instagram – I was chosen to participate in a fun challenge for one of my favorite food blogs to celebrate a new cookbook.

Little things I’m loving


A dear friend sent me some homemade jam, plus some art from her littles that basically rules.



Even Solomon in all his splendor was not clothed like one of these.


But, new shoes!



Some good friends baptized their baby and I got to do a reading.  The afternoon was full of moments of glory.

Adventures in Piggery
Most of the month was spent preparing for or recovering from World Pork Expo, where people take pigs for a walk, among other things.  Read my full recaps here.



I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.


What I’m Into / May 2014

It’s not May without ponies and big hats, y’all.

And a sweet and refreshing mint julep or two, natch.


I love our neighborhood, and coffee with Kels makes it even more lovely.  I used to be able to see this building from my old apartment – I don’t miss the traffic noise but I do kind of miss the view.


Moving right along on my 33 by 33 list (although I’m running out of time!), I successfully made pie with my mother-in-law, who was a champion pie baker back in her day.  I married into a darn good family.


We went to DC for #averyhappystart to a marriage for some dear friends, and I waved hi to FLOTUS.  I knew we didn’t have much time to really see the city, but we did walk past the White House and Capital building.  Memorial Day brought out allllll the people, and my introvert self was DONE with crowds.  We’ll be back in the off-season.


Things are greening up and sunsets are turning back to summer glory.  Hallelujah.

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s just-a-few reads included The Sense of an Ending, Eating Heaven, and King & Maxwell.

What I’m watching
This is a light TV month for Team Wastell, but we’re keeping up with Game of Thrones. I still haven’t watched the finales of Grey’s or Nashville, but it’s hard to stay un-spoiled.  Looking forward to some good silly summer TV.

Around the web
#yesallwomen all the time.  It’s important; it’s real; it matters.

Little things I’m loving


I’m thankful for non-local produce – these peaches from California were marvelous.


I love summer thunderstorms, especially when accompanied by rainbows.


I love The Good Life as Nebraska’s state slogan, but an Official Committee disagreed with me, and we are now “Nebraska Nice.”  Bleah.  Definitely not loving that.


Traveling with Airbnb is the way to go.  It’s thrifty, plus I love seeing a different side of a city and the spaces in which people live.


I’ll say it again – this guy.  🙂

Adventures in Piggery
Two things I love about my job:  small town old men and pigs who stick their tongue out at me.




I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.


What I’m Into / April 2014

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You with your stormy skies and turning green and lilacs abloom, I love.

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Work and life brought Ranae to town and I decided that very early coffee with my bestie was worth waking up for.  Turns out, mornings in the Old Market are kind of pretty.

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We had our carpets cleaned, then I dusted and rearranged throw pillows and a brilliant photographer came and took photos of our house for Airbnb.  Tiny teaser above – I love all the little details that she noticed.  Come and stay with us?

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Many moons ago, I served on the board of a young professionals group in Omaha.  We’ve attended their annual fundraising gala each year since, and I glammed it up with a cute dress (with pockets!) and Big Hair this year.  Well, big for me.  For about 3 minutes.  I do straight hair like I do pale skin.  No way around it.

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I love celebrating Passover.  We have several friends who are Jewish and I love sharing the holiday moments that are significant to both Judaism and Christianity.  The sponsored Haggadah always cracks me up, and this year I imagined that when Jesus and his disciples celebrated Passover, it was brought to them, too, by Maxwell House.  #amen.

April 25th, you guys!!! The best.

What I’m reading
I linked up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share books I’m reading in Twitter-inspired fashion.  This month’s reads included AttachmentsCarry On, WarriorSycamore RowDear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, and Madame Tussaud.  It was a pretty great month for books, honestly.

What I’m watching
We’re still keeping up with the usual Scandal and Grey’s and Nashville.  And you guys, George RR Martin frustrates me to no end with his treatment of female characters, but I just can’t quit Game of Thrones.

Around the web
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Oh my, my Homaha sure is pretty.  I love this sunrise/sunset video project by ONELapse.
Click the photo above to watch the timelapse.

Little things I’m loving

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We’re all-season grillers ’round these parts (and by We, I mean Awesome Husband), but spring always makes me want to throw open the deck doors and let the breeze blow.  Asparagus and all their veggie friends are SO good in the grill basket.  Can’t get enough.

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Oh, Trader Joe’s.  You know the way to my heart.  I ALSO can’t get enough of this ridiculous chocolate-cookie combo in a jar.  Spread it on an apple slice and it’s practically a whole meal.

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Apple fritters and coffee and catching up with an old friend.  Good stuff all around.

And yes, I realize that all the things I’m loving revolve around food.  Let’s not talk about it.

Adventures in piggery

We were remarkably at-home this month, as I’ve been wrapping up a new website design for our supplier.  I’ve cranked out some handy resources for our dealers and worked on an ad campaign for a specialty product, and I hung out with this guy, who stuck his tongue out at me about 10 seconds later. Pttttttthhhhbbbb to you, too, pig.


I’m linking up with Leigh Kramer for her What I’m Into series. Hop on over to her blog for more.