Last Great Book I Read: My Lady Jane

Historical fiction with a substantial heaping of magic is not my typical read.  While I do appreciate a good love story, especially one amongst royals - I tend to opt out of books parading magic (with the exception of Harry Potter and Twilight...of course).  But My Lady Jane is a clever, charming read, and I couldn't get enough.  Truth be told, I polished off the hefty thing in four days.

And for those skeptics, don't let the presence of magic deter you.  While I resist telling you more of the plot, consider this book an fictional explanation of real life character, Lady Jane Grey's 9-day reign as the queen of England (more on the real Lady Jane Grey here).

In a nutshell, a historical fiction spinoff love story, infused with magic, with a twist.  And for the record, you can always tell the hallmark of a good book is when you finish it only to be disappointed that it's over.


March Favorites

+ this cookbook, Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker - part of my quest to slowly eliminate gluten from my diet

+ the podcast, How I Built This, stories of how people created companies, my favorites include the stories of Spanx, Airbnb, and Dry Bar.

+ Wonder, the YA novel about a boy born with a facial abnormality and his journey as he enters his first school experience.  It's a touching story written from multiple perspectives about inclusion, fitting in, and finding friendship.

+ these sweet birthday cards, I'm a sucker for letterpress

+ Chef's Table season 3 on Netflix, especially the Ivan Orkin episode



Have you ever heard of hiplet (pronounced "hip-lay")?  I just saw this video over at Cup of Jo and am totally intrigued.  It's a new dance combining hip-hop and ballet, created by Homer Hans Bryant, who also founded the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center.  I'm into it!  What do you think?

Quote of the Week

“The days are long but the years are short."
~ Gretchen Rubin

P.S. If you don't already, subscribe to her podcast

My New Favorite Breakfast

I've never been one of those people that can eat the same thing every morning, day after day, week after week.  I get bored.  Occasionally I'll find myself in a groove for a few weeks, surfing a wave of yogurt and granola.  And once that get's old, I'll change course for a few weeks with scrambled eggs and sliced avocado.  Then perhaps leap on over to fried eggs with Trader Joe's get the idea.  

However, it seems I've finally found a recipe with some staying power, since this has been my go-to breakfast for roughly 2+ months, and I'm still going strong!  I've rediscovered the beauty (and convenience) of overnight oats.  For those of you who might not know what overnights oats are - I did a post way back when...but the gist is - they're oats soaked and softened overnight in some type of milk.  It's an ideal breakfast for a late riser or someone who tends to have less time on their hands in the morning, as the prep work is already done by the time you awake!

My new favorite variation is Gwyneth Paltrow's almond orange overnight oats from her It's All Easy cookbook.  I had this page dog-eared for a while, and finally recognized that I had all of the ingredients on hand, so what was I waiting for?  

The result: great flavor, a nice blend of texture, and also - filling!  When I was teaching, I found it annoying when my breakfast couldn't tie me over until lunch and I'd be hungrily eying the clock at 10:00! What makes this recipe great, in my opinion, is the addition of orange juice, Greek yogurt, slivered almonds and shredded coconut.   And, I actually omitted the 2 tbsp maple syrup it calls for, because I didn't think it needed the extra sweetness.  I typically use a coconut or almond milk, though you could use cows milk or another type of nut milk as well.  

It's about time we get excited for breakfast!


Sunday Snooze

It's the weekend!! It's a rainy, cold one here in Washington.  Thinking fondly back to last weekend LA enjoying spa adventures and my first visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Here are some links to what I've been reading this week.  Wishing you a cozy, dry weekend!

+ Pantone colors on the road

+ coming to live as refugees, as told by children

+ 13 inspiring lunches for kids

+ girl power!! check out this women of NASA lego set

+ one of my favorite children's book authors who is dying of ovarian cancer, wrote this heartbreaking 'love letter' entitled, "you might want to marry my husband." read with kleenex.

+ favorite apps as recommended by speech therapists

+ Susan Cain's TED talk, not new, but still fascinating

+ a female anatomy lesson everyone ought to read

+ it's The Book Scavenger in real life!

Have a good one!


Embracing Minimalism

Ever watch a movie you find yourself thinking about days after the fact?  Recently, for me, that movie was Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things, streaming on Netflix.  Always a fan of a worthy documentary, I initially heard about this movie on one of my favorite DIY podcasts of all places, Young House Love Has A Podcast

Let me back track a bit...first off, initially I was skeptical.  Could a documentary on minimalism keep my interest for 79 minutes?  I mean, come on, I'm definitely not a minimalist, I like my stuff.  I shop online.  I know the thrill of a delightful find at Target.  I cultivate clutter...  And as it turns out, yes.  It was eye opening, and enlightening. And as I now know, minimalism goes far beyond the reaches of just 'stuff.'  

Ever bought something simply because it was on sale?  Or feel the need to shop online simply because you received a coupon code in your email?  Fall victim to the algorithms that put items you've previously searched into pockets of space in your social media feed?  If you've said yes to any of these (as I have), then this documentary might resonate with you. 

"We spend so much time on the hunt.  But nothing ever quite does it for us.  And, we get so wrapped up in the hunt, that it kind of makes us miserable." - Dan Harris 

The film begins with the story of Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, and a series of interviews with others, who like them have embraced the concepts of minimalism in their daily lives.  Take Dan Harris, an ABC news reporter whose panic attack on live TV caused him to take a hard look and reevaluate how he was living his life. He shifted his mindset, took up meditation, wrote a book, and has never looked back, all because of choosing less instead of more.  Embracing minimalism. 

"What meditation can help you do is figure out when you cross the line between what I call constructive anguish and useless rumination. And so on the 17th time that I’m worrying about all the awful consequences of whether I’m going to make a flight, I’ve learned to ask myself: “Is it useful?” And often I’m able to cut myself off before I go down the rat hole of rumination and resentment." - Dan Harris

So why did this documentary strike a chord with me?  Because I think in a lot of ways it is so true.  Our culture has hard wired us to constantly feel hungry, empty, fueling this urge to spend, spend, spend.  Bottom line, this movie is worth a watch.  And if you're feeling extra ambitious and want to kick up this Minimalism streak, might want to pick up Dan Harris' book 10% Happier too.  

This post is part of my partnership with Netflix where I share what my family and I are watching each month on our favorite streaming platform. #StreamTeam

image via theminimalists