currently reading

So somehow almost all of the holds I had placed at the library became available within a week or so of each other.  The stack of books on my shelf is now 8 books tall (and that’s after I returned 2 that I just wasn’t into reading right this moment). At least the weather is cooperating; grey, rainy afternoons just beg to be spent curled up in a cozy blanket with a hot drink and a good book. In no particular order, here are the books I’ll be reading in the next month.

  1. And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini
  2. Loving Frank – Nancy Horan
  3. The Midwife – Jennifer Worth
  4. The Baker’s Daughter – Sarah McCoy
  5. Happier at Home – Gretchen Rubin
  6. The Interestings – Meg Wolitzer
  7. Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
  8. Family Driven Faith – Voddie Bachman

And there are still 5 more on hold…

  1. Bones of the Lost – Kathy Reichs
  2. Cooked – Michael Pollan
  3. Life after Life – Kate Atkinson
  4. Daring Greatly – Brené Brown
  5. Allegiant – Veronica Roth

And Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist on my list as well…

What can I say? I love to read! What are you reading?

Not alone

“We read to know we are not alone.” – C.S. Lewis

Though what I read has changed over the years, this quote still holds true for me. Especially on grey, rainy June days when I can found with a cup of coffee and a book.

As of now…

I have fourteen blogs.


It’s a bit much, I know. About half of them, 0r more, are projects or collaborations with friends. Some are private; most of them just represent different stages of my life. One of them, Go Forth and Eat!, is one that I actually somewhat keep up on. Or at least plan to keep up on. Oh, and this one. I think. To be honest, I love the name of another one of my blogs, but I should keep this one. I think two is a reasonable number of blogs to maintain.

I’m overwhelmed at the prospect of starting to write again, both here and on my food blog. Just because I haven’t been writing. And that doesn’t really make sense, does it? I should just start again. Maybe the explanations will just weave in as I continue to share my story.

I’m not a fantastic storyteller or writer. I’m just not. But it’s ok. I just have to write. This really, insanely bothers the perfectionistic side of me. I’m embarrassed by my old posts. And my current posts. The truth is that I don’t have to be perfect; I just have to pursue excellence. And start writing again. 🙂

For now, I’ll just share a picture of me with my adorable 1 year old daughter, whom I’ll call E. She is ridiculously cute and such a delight!

E sticking out her tongue

Like mother, like daughter

Book Giveaway

My friend, Ariel K. Price, is hosting a book giveaway on her blog this week! Go check it out!

This giveaway is to promote her new business website (which my husband designed!). I’m proud of both of them!


Mocha Motivation

Five Favorites

Today was a lazy day – you know the kind of day… jeans and a hoodie, hair pulled into ponytail, eating breakfast for all three meals (cinnamon rolls, eggs & hash browns, and cereal respectively) kind of day.  Despite that, I did manage to both get some work done as well as write this post of five favorites from my week.

Cranberry Peach Pecan Scone at Bipartisan Cafe

Leftover sunflowers from a photo shoot that I put into wine and champagne bottles.

The African violet my husband surprised me with!

Personalized wrapping for a baby shower gift that I thought of all by myself.

Daffodils that brighten my day despite the Portland gloominess 🙂

Cranberry Peach Pecan Scone

This past Sunday morning, John and I went on a date to Bipartisan Cafe (on SE Stark & SE 79th in Portland) before heading to church.  We enjoyed coffee and a cranberry peach pecan scone, which was quite delicious.  I have a deep love for fantastic scones; this scone certainly did not disappoint!  The unique flavor combination was a treat as well, broadening my horizons and sparking desires for both creativity in my kitchen and the fresh fruits of summer.  I can’t wait to see what create and bake as I grow ever bolder in my kitchen.  Until then, I’ll still delight in scones with coffee at cafes around Portland.

My current reading list

With fall upon us, I have found even greater delight in curling up with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee, a fluffy blanket, and a great book, preferably with time to read said book cover to cover.  So without further ado, I will share my current reading list after my trip to the library today!

  1. Feminine Appeal – Carolyn Mahaney
  2. This Momentary Marriage – John Piper
  3. No Greater Love – Mother Teresa
  4. Because He Loves Me – Elyse Fitzpatrick
  5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks  – Rebecca Skloot
  6. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 – Lawrence Wright
  7. Girls in White Dresses – Jennifer Close
  8. In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise – George Prochnik
  9. My Life as a Traitor – Zarah Chahramani
  10. Girl in Translation – Jean Kwok
  11. Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 – Steve Coll

More will follow, I assure you!  In addition, John is reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to me every night since I’ve never read the Chronicles of Narnia, having chosen C.S. Lewis’s more obscure works.  If, of course, you have any recommendations, please do not hesitate to share!  I will most likely read them and let you know what I think!

Five Favorites

  1. Vice Verses by Switchfoot – I love music!  And I have been a Switchfoot fan for years.  So when this album was released recently, I absolutely had to listen to it.  I love how Switchfoot didn’t just recreate the same sound over again; they wanted to try something new and went for it.  And frankly, it is excellent.
  2. Discovering new blogs – I found Daily Garnish through Espresso and Cream, a blog I already follow.  While I’m not a vegetarian, I do need to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet and enjoy food blogs that inspire and share adventures in the kitchen.
  3. Scarves – I’m not a big accessories fan, but I prefer not to live without scarves.  They add variety to my tees, jeans, and a cardigan standard wardrobe.  Also, they help keep me warm when the temperature drops.  I just love them.
  4. Having a three day weekend – Since I started working in May, I haven’t had three days in a row off except to celebrate my anniversary in July.  I also rarely have two days off in a row.  So having a three day weekend on an actual weekend is a reason to celebrate!  So excited!
  5. Coffee – After randomly giving up coffee for two months, I’m slowly starting to drink it again.  And I enjoy it!  Especially with coconut creamer from Coffeemate.  A cup in the morning with a good book is pure relaxation!

Also, I apologize for the lack of pictures.  The one downside to owning a Macbook versus a Macbook Pro is that it doesn’t have an SD card reader, which wouldn’t be a big deal if my camera was new and Macbook-compatible, but it isn’t.  So until I borrow my husband’s computer and upload pictures, I won’t be posting any pictures.  Thankfully we share and all I have to do is remember to ask.  🙂  I’ll keep you updated!

If you are discouraged, it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers.  Never bother about people’s opinions.  Be humble and you will never be disturbed.  The Lord has willed me here where I am.  He will offer a solution. – Mother Teresa, No Greater Love